In this work, we successfully demonstrate a fast method to determine the fish freshness by using a sensing system containing an ultrasensitive amine gas sensor to detect the volatile amine gas from the raw fish meat. When traditional titration method takes 4 h and complicated steps to test the total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N) as a worldwide standard for fish freshness, our sensor takes 1 min to deliver an electrical sensing response that is highly correlated with the TVB-N value. When detecting a fresh fish with a TVB-N as 18 mg/100 g, the sensor delivers an effective ammonia concentration as 100 ppb. For TVB-N as 28-35 mg/100 g, a well-accepted freshness limit, the effective ammonia concentration is as 200-300 ppb. The ppb-regime sensitivity of the sensor and the humidity control in the sensing system are the keys to realizing fast and accurate detection. It is expected that the results in this report enable the development of on-site freshness detection and real-time monitoring in a fish factory.
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