Fighting food adulteration: Portable Toxic Threat Detector


toxicity in foodBy now we all know that most of the food we consume has contaminants, albeit at varying levels. The episode of Satyamev Jayate dealing with this issue had created quite a furor in different quarters. But has anything been done to counter the problem? In a series of articles,we will be dealing with specific solutions to the problem of toxicity in food that have been implemented by individuals and organizations.   

Four Nagpur students have developed a device that can  help one determine the pesticide content in any eatable and help one clean it up too.

The portable toxic threat detector (PTTD) developed by third year electronics and telecommunication engineering students of GH Raisoni College of Engineering Saurabh Puranik, Shreya Dhondarikar, Sagar Nasre and Sowmya Singh, tells you whether or not something is safe to eat and the best method to scientifically remove the contaminant.


As reported by TOI, the team found that available methods of detecting food toxicity were time-consuming and relied on big laboratories and expensive chemicals. Lack of awareness and that of experts was another hitch. In their quest to solve these problems, the budding engineers have been doing their own research for the past one and a half years.

They have developed the threat detector for both solid and liquid food items. The present device is only a prototype and can take a weight up to one kilogram. The team however wishes to make several changes to this. They want to increase the weighing capacity, add a purifier to the device and make the software used in the device available on smartphones in the form of an app.

The PTTD has been presented at many national and international forums where it has garnered much appreciation. The team is now in talks with several laboratories like National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (Neeri) and AGMARK to help them with the lab testing of the device which will help them apply for a patent. They have also presented the idea to some venture capitalists who have shown their interest in it.

 Here is a video explaining the functioning of the device:


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