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Handheld Molecular Contaminant Screener

Project description

Testing food before it’s too late

A series of food safety incidents in the late 1990s – from melamine-contaminated powdered infant formula to dangerous eggs laced with insecticide – drew attention to the need to establish general principles and requirements concerning food and feed law at EU level. But current screening methods are lab-based and take so long that food is already in the processing stage or in the supermarkets. The EU-funded HMCS project will develop real-time detection of risk-related substance using handheld molecular contaminant screener based on a novel portable mass spectrometry technology. HMCS enables food companies to test food or food products for contaminants before collecting food from the farms and at various stages of the food value chain.

Objective

There is an ever-increasing need for real time detection for risk related substances (e.g. pesticides, bacteria and antibiotics) in agro and food products. Food quality, food frauds and food scandals are becoming a major issue these days. Prime examples of recent food disasters are the Fipronil Dutch egg scandal and Salmonella French baby milk scandal. These scandals have not only resulted in health effects but also resulted in massive economic losses (> € 600m), losses in jobs and damage of the reputation of the European agro and food industry which takes pride in being the best in the world. Current high-end screening methods are laboratory based which are time consuming (5-12 days) and expensive (€200 per hour of testing cost at central labs). By the time results are out, food is already in the processing stage or in the supermarkets. We propose real-time detection of risk related substance using handheld molecular contaminant screener (HMCS) based on a novel portable mass spectrometry technology. With HMCS rather than bringing the sample to the lab you bring the lab to the sample. HMCS enables food companies to test food or food products for contaminants before collecting food from the farms and at various stages of the food value chain. We have validated by speaking with customers such as Freisland Campina (the world’s largest dairy co-operative) and Vion food group to name a few who indicated to pilot HMCS based on the success of feasibility study.

The feasibility study in phase 1 will technically validate the value of HMCS validate in terms of sensitivity (parts-per-billion), portability (< 9kg) and speed of detection (< 30 seconds). The economic feasibility study should provide lacking information about the decision making unit (farmer-food companies relationship) in order to validate the business plan.

Call for proposal

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020

See other projects for this call

Sub call

H2020-SMEInst-2018-2020-1

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Coordinator

NEXT GENERATION SENSORS BV
Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Address
Gaetano martinolaan 85
6229 GS Maastricht
Netherlands

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Zuid-Nederland Limburg (NL) Zuid-Limburg
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Other funding
€ 21 429,00