ITS Campus, ITS News – Innovative research is conducted by lecturers of Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) as an effort to help the community in Indonesia. This time Dr. rer nat Fredy Kurniawan, S.Si., M.Si, lecturer of the Department of Chemistry, together with his colleagues researched detector for processed foods for the control of halal products.
Nowadays, there are many kinds of processed food products are consumed. Unfortunately, there are still many manufacturers who do not provide clear information about the ingredients on the products. The lack of information is a concern for some groups of people as consumers, especially the Moslem Community. One of the concerns of Muslims is pork gelatin on their food. It was the driving factor of Fredy Kurniawan with his colleagues to do the research.
Gelatin itself is widely used in the medicines and food industry. Generally, gelatin is used to stabilize and make the bread chewier. It can also be an addition of soft candies, ice creams, jellies, and others. The largest source of gelatin comes from pigskin, which is 45.8 percent. Another source is from 28.4 percent of cow’s skin, bones 24.2 percent and 1.6 percent are derived from other raw materials. Physically, the meat and beef gelatin are very similar so that it is difficult to distinguish.
The lecturer who has recently been appointed as head of the Department of Chemistry revealed the method to make this pig gelatin detection is a modified Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) sensor. QCM is one of the methods of electrochemistry that is relatively simple in its equipment and operations. “The key to how this sensor works is a specific material that can distinguish both types of gelatin, so the response given by the sensors to the pig gelatin and in addition to the pig can be distinguished significantly,” said Fredy.
The way this tool works is to detect the difference in the response given between cow and pig gelatin. “If it contains the pig gelatin, the frequency response given by the appliance will rise, while for the content other than pig the response of the frequencies will decrease,” he explained. He also said that this pig-gelatin detector is able to work with 100 ppm accuracy.
Penelitian yang didanai oleh Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Tinggi (Ditjen Dikti) ini sudah mencapai tahap akhir. Fredy dan timnya saat ini fokus untuk menyempurnakan kekurangan dan menguji interferensi yang timbul pada matriks yang berbeda. “Kami juga berusaha untuk membuat alat ini lebih kecil atau portable, sehingga bisa dibawa ke mana-mana dan langsung bisa dipakai di lapangan, tak perlu lagi sampel dibawa ke laboratorium,” ungkap Fredy. Sehingga, biaya produksi bisa ditekan dan biaya operasional akan lebih rendah.
Fredy said that this pig-gelatin detector will be launched to the public after 100 percent ready. “For the first stage, our target is a laboratory related to halal testing, then if the whole part has been produced by the local, people can use it directly,” he explained. He said that some parts of the appliance were still imported and took longer when produced by others.
In this study, Fredy was assisted by students and several lecturers from inside and outside ITS according to the skills needed to complete the project. Through the team’s hard work, in particular, Fredy hopes this method can be used as a standard method. “In general I hope the results of this research can be utilized and help people,” he concluded. (meg/rev/ITS Public Relations)
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