a mobile food scanner for safe eating.
 Posted on 19/04/2014 - 20:18
Idea Outline
A food scanner for mobile use to check for contaminants. A DIY open source kit sent via the internet. This could also be used for foraging in the wild for safe wild food, e.g mushrooms.

The Challenge
Food and water quality is a real issue world wide, especially in places like China. There have been several food scares in the last few years and much paranoia regarding potential future dangers. For example, the New Zealand Fonterra’s baby milk powder botulism contamination. My plan is to design and develop a tool to empower people to understand what they are buying and eating and have the choice to go elsewhere, or not eat the food, if they are not happy with the results. Or for foraging to identify safe food in the wild.

The Solution

The idea:
My proposal is to research and design an open source food contamination scanner for mobile use to check for various contaminants, e.g pesticides, cadmium etc. The results will be shared with other users via an online app and twitter mapping the results locally and globally. There is already a database that collects chemical data that can be added to and the results checked by scientists. My idea is that people who use the food scanner contribute to this database and build up data for use in the project.
Intended Activities:
1) debate and public discussion events. Output-large interactive diagram/app mapping the various debates.
2) design and development of the mobile food scanner and design of the app.

Target group and social impact
The target group is the general public who are empowered through this open source product to take control of their own health and safety in their lives. It gives a collective voice to improve health and safety standards in food processes.

Competences of the applicant
Ms. Saoirse Higgins, Senior Lecturer Creative Media, School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. Artist and designer from Dublin. She has a background in product design with a MA Interactive Media from the Royal College of Art and MSc Creative Media Arts and Sciences, Media Lab, MIT, Boston. Professor Chris Smith, Director, Manchester Food Research Centre, Professor of Food Science, MMU.

Video Link
None posted
Social Category
  • Civic Empowerment and Community Engagement
  • Health and Demographic Change
  • Knowledge Society and Education

  • Tecnology Category
  • Data
  • Mobile
  • Open Source

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    Hello, I have a question. This scan or spectrophotometer think is very expensive and suitable for experienced people. You think you can build a low price?

    Idea Submitter

    hi there,
    yes we are working on a low cost one with the food spectrophotometer univ. people at the moment.