A digital device to reduce food wastage
Amsterdam: Millions of tonnes of food are dumped into the waste bin each year, as the "best before" date on the package has passed. Much of what is dumped might still be safe to eat. A new device could aid that eat-or-throw decision.
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, (The Netherlands), Universita di Catania (Italy), CEA-Liten (France) and STMicroelectronics, one of the world`s largest semiconductor companies, have invented a circuit that makes testing of food products possible through a plastic analog-digital converter.
Consumers and businesses in developed countries throw away around 100 kg of food per person per year, mainly because the "best before" date on the packaging has passed. Such wastage is bad not only for consumers` budgets, but also for the environment, an Eindhoven statement said.
Much of the wastage occurs because there is difficulty in estimating how long food will stay usable. To minimise the risk of selling spoiled food, producers show a relatively short shelf-life on the package.
The plastic sensor circuits, costing less than one euro cent, could help solve the phenomenal waste problem. These ultra-low-cost plastic circuits have numerous potential uses, including in pharmaceuticals.
To fight food waste, producers could include an electronic sensor circuit in their packaging to monitor the acidity level of the food, for example.
The sensor circuit could be read with a scanner or with a mobile phone to show the freshness of steak, or even whether frozen food was earlier defrosted.
Said researcher Eugenio Cantatore of Eindhoven University of Technology: "In principle, such testing is already possible, using the standard silicon ICs (integrated chips). The only problem is they`re too expensive. They easily cost ten cents. And that cost is too much for a one-euro bag of crisps."
"We`re now developing electronic devices that are made from plastic rather than silicon. The advantage is you can easily include these plastic sensors in plastic packaging."
The plastic semiconductor can even be printed on all kinds of flexible surfaces, which makes it cheaper to use.
The invention was presented last week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, US.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Sheena was Indrani’s daughter from her previous marriage, not sister
- How justified is the violence in Gujarat over quota row?-Part 2
- Gujarat quota stir: Exclusive interview with Hardik Patel
- Gujarat quota stir: PM Modi appeals for peace
- Sheena Bora murder mystery: Eight questions which need to be answered
- I know why Indrani Mukherjea murdered my sister Sheena: Mikhail Bora
- Sheena Bora murder case: All that we know about Indrani Mukherjea
- Pregnant teen buried alive, wakes up in coffin
- Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani Mukherjea's former husband, Sanjeev Khanna, arrested by Mumbai Police
- 3rd Test: India vs Sri Lanka 2015 - Preview