Development of a highly sensitive fluorescence method for tartrazine determination in food matrices based on carbon dots

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In this work, an ultrasensitive sensing system based on fluorescent carbon dots (CDs) was developed for the tartrazine (Tar) determination. The CDs were prepared via a simple one-pot hydrothermal method with m-phenylenediamine as the only precursor. The physical and chemical properties were in detail characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), MALDI-TOF MS, UV-vis absorption and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Upon exposure to Tar, the fluorescence of CDs was efficiently quenched via the dynamic interaction between CDs and Tar as well as the inner filter effect (IFE). With this information, the CDs were proposed as a fluorescence probe for Tar detection. It was found that CDs had high sensitivity and selectivity for Tar sensing, and the linear relationship was observed in the range of 0.01–25.0 μM with the corresponding detection limit (3σ/k) of 12.4 nM, which is much more sensitive than any of the existed CD-based sensing platform. The investigated sensing system was finally utilized for Tar sensing in various food matrices with a high degree of accuracy. The spiked recoveries were in a range of 96.4–105.2%, and the relative standard deviations (RSDs) were lower than 4.13%. This work highlights the great application prospects of CDs for Tar sensing in a rapid, simple, and sensitive way.

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The financial supports from 2020 Postgraduate Research and Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province, China (SJCX20_1383), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, China (BK20200949), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2020M671625), National Natural Science Foundation of China (21922202), Natural Science Fund for Colleges and Universities in Jiangsu Province, China (19KJB150042, 20KJA550002), Opening Foundation of Jiangsu Dairy Bioengineering Technology Research Centre (KYRY2019002), Yangzhou Key R&D Project (Social Development), China (2020) (YZ2020063), LvYang Golden Phoenix Plan, Yangzhou City (2019), Jiangsu Key Research & Development Program, China (BE2019436-5), Yangzhou University Science and Technology Innovation Cultivation Fund (2019CXJ188), and Foundation of China National Key Research & Development Program (2016YFC1300201) are received.

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Correspondence to Lixia Xiao or Qin Hu.

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The original online version of this article was revised: The authors would like to call the reader’s attention to the fact that, unfortunately, there was an error regarding Fig. 1b in this manuscript.

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Liu, L., Sun, H., Xiao, L. et al. Development of a highly sensitive fluorescence method for tartrazine determination in food matrices based on carbon dots. Anal Bioanal Chem 413, 1485–1492 (2021).

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  • CDs
  • Tartrazine
  • Fluorescence quenching
  • Food matrices