New Maglev Sensor for Food and Healthcare Industries

In the bi-weekly of American Chemical Society, scientists describe about the new special sensor that utilizes magnetic levitation, also known as maglev. The maglev is a futuristic technology that made the high-speed passenger trains possible. In the journal article, the scientists explain how maglev can be used in an economic sensor for analysis of water, food, and beverages.

Foods and beverages, such as cheese and milk, may be tested for their fat content in the future with a new sensor that uses magnetic levitation, or "maglev," the technology that allows high-speed trains to float above the tracks.

Measuring the density of a substance is vital, especially in the health care and food industry, as these measurements provide the important information of the chemical composition of the substance. For instance, the measurement of density helps to quantify the alcohol content in wine, sugar content in soft drinks, or salt content in irrigation water. For these measurements, a simple, user-friendly, economic technology is needed, which the existing devices cannot offer.

The special maglev sensor uses magnets to suspend the samples to measure the density. The new sensor is similar to the size of ice cube. At both of its ends, it features a fluid-filled container, inside which the liquid or solid samples are kept. When the samples move through the fluid, the distance migrated by them determines their density. The new device has the ability to quickly measure the fat content in milk, peanut butter, or cheese; and salt content in various water samples.

The article denotes that the device can be ideal for evaluating fat content in foods and beverages, checking suitability of water for irrigation or drinking purpose, and monitoring of grain processing.

Source: http://www.acs.org/

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