Development and validation of a glass-silicon microdroplet-based system to measure sulfite concentrations in beverages.


Imec Life Sciences and Imaging, Kapeldreef 75, 3001, Leuven, Belgium. [Email]


Sulfite is often added to beverages as an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent. In fermented beverages, sulfite is also naturally produced by yeast cells. However, sulfite causes adverse health effects in asthmatic patients and accurate measurement of the sulfite concentration is therefore very important. Current sulfite analysis methods are time- and reagent-consuming and often require costly equipment. Here, we present a system allowing sensitive, ultralow-volume sulfite measurements based on a reusable glass-silicon microdroplet platform on which microdroplet generation, addition of enzymes through chemical-induced emulsion destabilization and pillar-induced droplet merging, emulsion restabilization, droplet incubation, and fluorescence measurements are integrated. In a first step, we developed and verified a fluorescence-based enzymatic assay for sulfite by measuring its analytical performance (LOD, LOQ, the dynamic working range, and the influence of salts, colorant, and sugars) and comparing fluorescent microplate readouts of fermentation samples with standard colorimetric measurements using the 5,5'-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) assay of the standard Gallery Plus Beermaster analysis platform. Next, samples were analyzed on the microdroplet platform, which also showed good correlation with the standard colorimetric analysis. Although the presented platform does not allow stable reinjection of droplets due to the presence of a tight array of micropillars at the fluidics entrances to prevent channel clogging by dust, removing the pillars, and integrating miniaturized pumps and optics in a future design would allow to use this platform for high-throughput, automated, and portable screening of microbes, plant, or mammalian cells. Graphical abstract ᅟ.


Droplet microfluidics,Fluorescence,Microdroplets,Saccharomyces cerevisiae,Saccharomyces pastorianus,Sulfite,