At CES 2018, exhibiting companies displayed many new products for smart homes, smart health, smart cars and more. Having safe, pesticide residue free food is certainly a smart addition to a home and its occupants’ health. To provide this safety, ITRI developed a Handheld Pesticide Residue Detector. The detector is a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree.
The portable device allows users to determine whether pesticide residues are within a safe range after washing fruits or vegetables – a feat that previously was available only through commercial laboratories. The device detects eight washable pesticides from the top 10 pesticide ranking lists in the U.S. and China. It can also detect fat-soluble pesticides up to a 0.5 parts-per-million (ppm) detection limit, when used with specialized fruit and vegetable cleansers.
The unit is easy to operate, requiring the user to push a single button to activate it, place it in water with the fruits or vegetables and then observe its display lights for the results. If a red flashing light occurs further washing is required. During the washing process, a yellow flashing light indicates washing is in progress and a green flashing light signals that washing is complete.
Based on a Fabry-Perot spectrum filter, ITRI designed a chemical sensing chip to cover multispectral absorption frequency bands of commonly used pesticides to calculate key pesticide concentrations and developed a dynamic degradative algorithm for real-time monitoring of the pesticide washing process. The use of a beam splitting techniques in the chip requires a single photodiode sensor, significantly reducing system size and decreasing production cost, while enhancing the system’s signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
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