Skip to main content
European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results
Content archived on 2024-06-16

New generation automated fruit juice vending machine to reduce food poisoning of the children and the working population (SAFEVEND)

Final Report Summary - SAFEVEND (New generation automated fruit juice vending machine to reduce food poisoning of the children and the working population)

The number of drinks' vending machines in Europe has grown by 20 % between 2002 and 2007 and they now constitute an integral feature of most work places. However, they are associated to stomach bugs due to waterborne bacteria that grow in the most remote machine parts that are not easily cleaned and cause a loss of more than 120 000 man-days annually. Similarly, the quality of the available drinks is not assured because the mixing is subject to errors in settings or malicious attempts to maximise profit by over-diluting the drinks. This leads to lack of protection and loss of business for the drink brands.

On the basis of the above remarks the SAFEVEND project aimed to improve the health and quality of life of adult and children users of vending machines by promoting quality assured, healthy fruit juice drinks. The proposed technology was anticipated to reduce the risk of food poisoning and protect the environment by reducing the amount of consumed power.

Firstly, the pattern of bacterial growth was identified and their toxic activity in the fluid was determined and compared to existing knowledge on microbial activity in drinking water and drink poisoning. In parallel, operational targets and specifications were set. The social and public health associated targets were also quantified, based on the projected market penetration of the product. SAFEVEND had the economic objective of giving Europe a significant lead in the international market place, particularly in comparison to the United States of America and Japan, whose companies were in the process of developing power conscious and intelligent automated vending systems. The potential to generate job opportunities and reduce energy consumption was calculated based on the anticipated project impact. Furthermore, various innovation-related targets were identified to achieve the social and financial project targets, such as patenting its results, knowledge transferring on the basis of a specific plan and broadcasting the benefits of the developed technology to potential industrial users.

SAFEVEND progressed extremely well and developed numerous innovative technologies which would open up new market opportunities for the consortium and provide tangible social benefits. The delays in the completion of specific tasks were meditated via an extension in the project duration which allowed for the accomplishment of all initial goals. The parts of the machine were designed, tested and optimised and were then integrated in a fully operative prototype whose hygiene was ensured. The process of patenting the innovations was underway by the time of the project completion and the proposal was planned to be presented in one of the most important European trade fairs for the production and marketing of beer and soft drinks.