February 5, 2021

Susan Travers, MS, PhD, is "Using Candy to Sniff Out Cases of COVID-19"

Dr. Susan Travers, a professor in the college's Division of Biosciences, is working with other researchers at Ohio State who are investigating ways to use candy as a tool to detect COVID-19 in people who are otherwise asymptomatic.

The research team includes project co-leader Christopher Simons, MS, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; and Kai Zhao, MSE, PhD, an associate professor and Director of the Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Center in the College of Medicine. The team received a grant of $305,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop strategies that can be easily implemented in the effort to identify those who may be infected with COVID-19. 

To achieve the goal of developing a "fairly simple, inexpensive, and deployable technology to support public health," the team will create eight flavors of hard candies that will be manufactured and used to test people's taste and smell perceptions. These tests will help to assess individuals' ability to taste and smell, both of which are frequently affected by COVID-19. 

Learn more from Ohio State's research news article: "Using Candy to Sniff Out Probable Cases of COVID-19