Abstract

Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) has been applied for the detection and discrimination of harmful chemical residues in honey. Three antibiotics (sulfapyridine, sulfathiazole, and tetracycline) and two acaricides (coumaphos and amitraz) were characterized in the THz frequency regime between 0.5 THz and 6.0 THz. All chemical substances present distinct absorption peaks. THz transmission measurements of honey mixtures with antibiotics have been performed, revealing that antibiotic residues are traceable in highly absorptive food products, such as honey, at concentrations down to 1% weight percentage, thanks to their THz fingerprints. Moreover, multiple antibiotics were identified in their mixture with honey, pointing out the potential of the technique to be used in the near future as a fast, real-time technique for detecting and discriminating multi-residues strictly related to food safety issues.

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