Thai start-up invents portable scanner to control quality of agricultural produce


  • AseanPlus News
  • Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019

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BANGKOK: Food technology start-up Inside Biophotonics has used Kasetsart University’s research to develop a portable scanner for agricultural products, the company’s co-founder Santisuk Srisuk announced this week.

The work was made possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Space-F project, a world-class incubator and accelerator programme dedicated to fostering potential FoodTech start-ups.

The scanner uses near infrared (NIR) technology to help check the quality of agricultural products without damaging them and aims to reduce the risks of low-quality export and prevent their return while also reducing checking time and cost.

“We developed this innovation after seeing problems in the checking of food and agricultural products, such as slow operation, inaccuracy of results, and high expenditure” said Santisuk.

“These problems lead to middlemen reducing the prices they pay to farmers because they are judging the quality of the produce from the way it looks.”

In developing the scanner, the start-up has applied 10 years of research by Assoc Prof Ronnarit Rittiron and his Near Infrared laboratory team from the department of food engineering at Kasetsart’s Kamphaeng Saen Campus.

The machine passes rays into products to see their molecules. These are then scanned and their biochemical components analysed, with the data transmitted through Bluetooth to a smartphone in just eight seconds.

“The result is 99% accurate in moisture and several nutrients, namely, protein, sugar, and flour, ” Santisuk added.

“Previously, checking flour and moisture in cassava needed three hours, whereas the scanner can produce results immediately. This innovation can help control food and agricultural products’ quality at the molecular level. Farmers can monitor growth of their crops at all times, leading to fairness in the standard prices of agricultural products”.

The company now aims to expand the items that can be checked and says the scanner will sell for between Bt50,000 and Bt80,000 (RM7,000 and RM11,000). The price of software, after sales service and one-time servicing will start from Bt1,000 (RM140). - The Nation/ANN

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