Finite element simulation and development of a LED-based photoacoustic spectroscopy system for quality assessment of some food liquids

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Iran

2 Departmen of Biosystems engineering, Shahrekord University

3 Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, Shahrekord University, Iran


The photoacoustic method is a sensing technique resulting from combination of optical and ultrasonic methods. The photoacoustic effect is the product of local heating with absorption of light energy, instantaneous expansion of matter and generation of pressure and sound propagation in the matter. In this study, in order to develop a photoacoustic spectroscopy system with LED light sources, in the first step, the photoacoustic interaction with a cuvette filled with liquid was simulated using Comsol Multiphysics 5.5. In the second step, a photo-acoustic spectroscopy system with light sources at eight wavelengths from 395-940 nm was designed and constructed. Finally, in order to evaluate the photoacoustic system, three samples i.e. milk, water and olive oil were subjected to photoacoustic spectroscopy and the measurement results were compared with the simulation results for the same samples. The results showed that the intensity of the acoustic response of the samples at different wavelengths varied significantly with the light absorption coefficient, so that the maximum amplitude of the acoustic signal was obtained for milk, water and olive oil at the wavelengths of 450, 395 and 450 nm with values of 0.34, 0.22 and 0.74 Pa, respectively. This was in agreement with the simulation results in terms of relative differences. Moreover, the adulteration of adding water to milk at volume ratios of 5, 10, 15 and 20% was evaluated with the system and analyzed with principal component analysis (PCA) which showed a satisfactory discrimination of adulterated samples from pure milk. The system developed in this study can be used to assess the quality of food liquids.

Graphical Abstract

Finite element simulation and development of a LED-based photoacoustic spectroscopy system for quality assessment of some food liquids


  • Finite element simulation of photoacoustic interaction with a cuvette
  • Noticeable effect of specific heat capacity and absorption coefficient on the photoacoustic effect
  • Development of a photoacoustic spectroscopy system in the range of ultraviolet, visible and near infrared
  • The possibility of detecting water adulteration in milk


Main Subjects

[1] Almond, P., & Patel, P. (1996). Photothermal Science & Techniques(4th ed). New York: Springer.
[2]Wang, L. (2009). Photoacoustic Imaging & Spectroscopy (2nd ed). New York: Hilger.
[3]Bicanic, D. (2011). On the photoacoustic, photothermal & colorimetric quantification of carotenoids & other phytonutrients in some foods: a review. Journal of Molecular Structure., 993, 9–14.
[5] Jafarian Dehkordi, F., Pashazadeh, A., & Asadi, M. Photoacoustic molecular imaging. (2015). Iranian South Medical Journal., 1, 209-200. (In Farsi).
[6] Bell, AG. (1880). On the production and reproduction of sound by light. American Journal of Science., 20, 305-324.
[7] Roome, K., Payne, P., & Dewhurst, R. (1999). Towards a sideways looking intravascular laserultrasound probe. Sensors & Actuators A: Physical., 76. 197–202.
[8] Scruby, C., & Drain, L. (1990). Laser ultrasonics: techniques & applications (2nd ed). New York: Hilger.
[9] Zhang, Yuqi., Yu, Jicheng., Kahkoska, Anna. & Gu, Zhen. (2017). Photoacoustic Drug Delivery. Sensors ., 17, 1400, 50-63.
[10] Banita, S., Patachia, D., Dumitras, D., Achim, C., Bercu, M., Bratu, A., & Matei, C. (2012). Testing fruits quality by laser photoacoustic spectroscopy. Recent Advances in Biology, Biomedicine & Bioengineering., 24, 1144-1149.
[11] Wang, X., Pang, Y., Ku, G., Xie, X., Stoica, G., & Wang, L. (2003). Non-invasive laser-induced photoacoustic tomography for structural & functional imaging of the brain in vivo. Nature Biotechnology., 21, 803-806.
[12] Mohebifar, M., Khalilzadeh, J., & Dibai, b. (2011). Measurement of collision time of  and  gases using laser photoacoustic spectroscopy. Journal of Applied Physics, Al-Zahra University., 1, 35. (In Farsi).
[13] Velasco, D., Baesso, M., Medina, A., Bicanic, D., Koehorst, R., Hooft, J., & Carlos, A. (2011). Thermal diffusivity of periderm from tomatoes of different maturity stages as determined by the concept of the frequency-domain open photoacoustic cell. Journal of Applied Physics., 109, 347-385.
[14] Bottger, S., Kohring, M., Willer, U., & Schade, W. (2013). Off-beam quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy with LEDs. Physics B., 113, 227–232.
[15] Martel, R., Soukpoe-Kossi., Paquin, C., & Leblanc, R. (1987). Photoacoustic analysis of some milk products in ultraviolet & visible light.  Journal of Dairy Science., 70, 1822–1827.
[16] Bicanic, D., Skenderovicb, C., Markovicc, K., Dokad, O., Pichlerb, L., Pichlerb, G., & Luterottie, S. (2010). Quantification of lycopene in the processed tomato-based products by means of the light-emitting diode (LED) & compact photoacoustic (PA) detector. Journal of Physics: Conference., 214, 25-35.
[17] Liu, L., Wang, Y., Gaong, C., Huan, H., Zhao, B., & Yan, L. (2015). Photoacoustic spectroscopy as a non-destructive tool for quantification of pesticide residue in apple cuticle. International Journal of Thermophysics., 36, 868–872.
 [18] Tauhidur, R., Alex&er, T., Perry, S., Aadhar, J., David, E., & Tanzeem, C. (2016). Nutrilyzer: a mobile system for characterizing liquid food with photoacoustic effect. In: Proceedings of 14th Association for computing machinory Conference (ACM), 14-16 Nov. Stanford, United State of America, pp., 125-139.
 [19] Popa, C., & Petrus, M. (2017). Heavy metals impact at plants using photoacoustic spectroscopy technology with tunable CO2 laser in the quantification of gaseous molecules. Microchemical Journal., 134, 390–399.
[20] Hernandez, C., Dominguez, A., Valderrama, C., Cruz, A., Martinez, E., &  Ordonez , M. (2020). Photoacoustic spectroscopy in the characterization of bread with turmeric addition. Food and Bioprocess Technology., 13, 2104-2119.
[21] Puiu, A., Fiorani, L., Giubileo G, Lai, A., Mannori, S., & Saleh, W. (2021). Quantum cascade laser photoacoustic spectroscopy applied to rice flour analysis. Food Science and Engineering., 2, 79-91.
 [22] Fiorani, L., Artuso, F., Giardina, I., Lai, A., Mannori, S., & Puiu, A. (2021). Photoacoustic laser system for food fraud detection. Sensors., 21, 4178-4189.
[23] Lee, J. H., & Burger, C. P. (1995). Finte element modeling of laser generated lamb waves. Computers & Structures., 54, 499-514.
[24] Strohm, E., Gorelikov, I., Matsuura, N., & Kolios, M. (2014). Modeling photoacoustic spectral features of micron-sized particles. Physics in Medicine & Biology., 59, 57-74.
[25] Wang, J., Shen, Zh., Xu, B., Ni, X., Guan, J., & Lu, J. (2012). Simulation on thermoelastic stress field & laser ultrasound waveform in non-metallic materials by using FEM. Journal of Applied Physics., 84, 301-307.
[26] Firouzi, K., & Saffari, N. (2015). A numerical model for the study of photoacoustic imaging of brain tumours. Medical Physics., 85, 12-29.
 [27] Montigny, E. (2015). Photoacoustic tomography principles & applications. Analytical Chemistry., 50, 875-882.
 [28] Aminolislami, S., & Maquli, K. (2016). A review of photoacoustic imaging and its biomedical applications. In: Proceedings of 2th International Conference and the 3th National Conference on the Application of New Technologies in Engineering Sciences. 26 Feb, Torbat-e-Heydariyeh Universit, Iran. pp., 53-58. (In Farsi).
[29] Oda, S., Sawada, T., & Kamada, H. (1978). Determination of ultratrace cadmium by laser-induced photoacoustic absorption spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry., 50, 865-872.
[30] Lai, H., & Young, K. (1982). Theory of the pulsed optoacoustic technique. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America., 72, 200-216.
[31] Hand, D., Hodgson, P., Carolan, T., Quan, K., Mackenzie, H., & Jones, J. (1993). Detection of photoacoustic waves in liquids by fibre optic interferometry. Optics Communications., 104, 1-6.
[32] Quan, K., MacKenzie, H., Hodgson, P., & Christison, G. (1993). Photoacoustic generation in liquids with low optical absorption. Optics Communications., 104, 1-7.
[33] Touloukian, Y.S. (1970). Thermophysical Properties of Matter (2nd ed). New York: Purdue University.
Volume 9, Issue 4
August 2022
Pages 383-405
  • Receive Date: 28 April 2022
  • Revise Date: 07 June 2022
  • Accept Date: 15 June 2022
  • First Publish Date: 15 June 2022