Background: Highly sensitive and rapid analysis of food contaminants is of great significance
for food safety control. Aptamer is a new kind of recognition molecules which could be applied
for constructing homogeneous analysis assays, potentially achieving highly sensitive, cheap and rapid
profiling of food contaminants.
Methods: An overview of the literature concerning the homogeneous analysis of food contaminations
based on aptamers has been reviewed (focused on the most recent literature, 2000-2018).
Results: Attributed to aptamer’s controllability, designability and feasibility for the adoption of nucleic
acid amplification, rapid, highly sensitive homogeneous assay for various food contaminants could
be constructed. The structure-switching aptamer probe would confer quick, efficient and specific response
to target food contaminants. Besides, the capability of amplification of aptamer sequences or
nucleic acid probes would lead to highly sensitive detection.
Conclusion: Aptamer-based homogeneous analysis methods have already been applied to detect various
food contaminations ranging from toxins, heavy metal and pesticide to allergen and pathogenic
bacteria. However, it is still a challenge to achieve robust and accurate detection of food contaminants
in complex food samples.