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Ultrasensitive detection of food colorant sunset yellow using nickel nanoparticles promoted lettuce-like spinel Co3O4 anchored GO nanosheets

Highlights•Toxic azo dye sunset yellow FC used as common food colorant was detected at nanomolar level.•Lettuce-like Co3O4 decorated by Ni nanoparticles was anchored on GO for nanocomposite preparation.•Remarkable electrocatalytic activity was showcased by novel ternary nanocomposite fabricated on SPCE.•Practicality of sunset yellow detection was evaluated in jelly, soft drink, ice cream, and candy.AbstractSynthetic food colorants are extensively used across the globe regardless of the fact that they induce deleterious side effects when used in higher amounts. In this work, a novel electrochemical sensor based on nickel nanoparticles doped lettuce-like Co3O4 anchored graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets was developed for effective detection of sulfonated azo dye sunset yellow widely used as a food colorant. Hydrothermal synthesis was adopted for the preparation of lettuce-like spinel Co3O4 nanoparticles and Ni-Co3O4 NPs/GO nanocomposite was prepared using ecofriendly and economical sonochemical method. The prepared ternary nanocomposite meticulously fabricated on a screen-printed carbon electrode exhibited remarkable electrocatalytic activity towards sunset yellow determination. This is apparent from the resultant well-defined and intense redox peak currents of Ni-Co3O4 NPs/GO nanocomposite modified electrode at very low potentials. The developed sunset yellow sensor exhibited a high sensitivity of 4.16 μA μM−1 cm−2 and a nanomolar detection limit of 0.9 nM in the linear range 0.125–108.5 μM. Furthermore, experiments were conducted to affirm excellent stability, reproducibility, repeatability, and selectivity of proposed sensor. The practicality of sunset yellow determination using the developed sensor was analyzed in different varieties of food samples including jelly, soft drink, ice cream, and candy resulting in recovery in the range of 96.16%–102.56%.Graphical abstractDownload : Download high-res image (385KB)Download : Download full-size image

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