A special sensor instantly scans the amount of vitamins in fruits and vegetables

The ambitious European Food Screening EMR project will take agriculture in Europe to a completely different level – a special sensor will detect the presence of vitamins in agricultural products in real time and help adjust the growing conditions.

The project brings together farmers, food producers, technology laboratories and universities. Let’s talk about just one of his products, which is being tested. A biosensor is a device capable of determining the amount of vitamins in fruits and vegetables already in the field. Knowing the composition of the product, producers will be able to regulate water consumption, improve the nutritional quality of plants.

Trials are already underway – on cucumbers grown in a greenhouse in Baarlo, Holland. It is expected that the novelty will appear on the market in two years. EU. Yookr also takes part in the project. Its task is to translate the received raw data into information that will be understandable to users – they will see it on the screen of a smartphone or other gadget. Company director and owner John van Helden explains:

“Usually, if you want to determine the content of vitamins in vegetables or fruits, it takes at least a few days to get the result, because the product goes to the laboratory. Today we are ready to take measurements with a sensor and give a result in less than a minute.”

The University of Maastricht is responsible for the chemical “stuffing” – the receptor that determines the content of vitamins in the sample. The biosensor detects vitamins in foods using a color code.

Almost 2 million euros is the budget of the Food Screening EMR project. About 50% of the funding comes from the European Cohesion Policy. About a dozen Belgian, German and Dutch universities, companies and research centers are participating in the initiative. An important advantage of the biosensor developers call instantly issued information and ease of use of the sensor. Project leader Bart van Grisven says:

“You probably want to know what nutrients are in what you eat, and in what amounts. In the supermarket, you may be told that a certain product is important for health, but is it really? If you have a sensor , able to quickly measure the vitamin C content of a product, this is very useful.”

Transitioning to the agriculture of the future requires communication between all stakeholders in the industry. Specializing in healthy nutrition and the future of the horticultural sector, Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo is doing just that. Business Development Manager Max Vogel notes:

“We have reached out to all these innovative companies that really want to help the consumer become healthier and are ready to look for solutions. We tried to unite them around the project to bridge the gap with society.”



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