PURAA : food adulteration detector
Pham, Nhat Binh
Date of Issue2017-05-15
School of Art, Design and Media
Food adulteration is an illegal act that debases food quality by altering its properties. Such behaviour is often motivated by economic gain. One common type of adulteration is the addition of unapproved additives or chemicals to improve the appearance and shelf life of products, thereby increasing profits for the sellers. This project was based on a case study of Vietnam, where food adulteration is currently rampant. Research highlighted the complexity of this issue, resulting from several factors such as inefficient governance, weak enforcement, lack of resources for quality testing, sellers’ insistence due to greed, etc. This project approaches the issue from the consumers’ point of view, giving them a method to detect adulterants in food and hence help them verify the quality of food sources. The product converts a lab process called Thin Layer Chromatography into a home-based device that users can easily follow and understand. Using cartridges containing silica-coated film, the device can calculate the retention rates of each substance that travel through the test film, and identify them by comparing with existing data. The result is communicated in a simple form of colour - coded LED such that users can comprehend quickly. The device also connects to a mobile application that gives it further functions such as providing additional information about the chemical detected or reporting to authority. This report documents the process of designing this device and test cartridges from the research to first prototyping phase. It also chronicles the thoughts and considerations behind the design decision made for the product.
DRNTU::Visual arts and music
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University