The goal of the project was to optimise the possibilities for identification of adulterated food during the production process. The problems faced today are the big and expensive apparatus, and the time it takes to trace microorganisms and other food contaminants. Food producers might have to wait up to a week to prove or disprove a possible contamination, which could cause disposal of goods produced in the meantime.
The solution that SDU and the other project partners worked on is a little laboratory on a chip (lab-on-chip) the size of a matchbox. This little chip allows for a significantly faster and cheaper tracing of food contaminants. Whereas the production costs of today’s machines are at DKK 200.000, the little chip can be manufactured for under DKK 1000. Installed between the production machine and a computer, it can give ongoing signals about the quality of the food and hence give instant warning. To begin with, the chip only functions as a fast alarm system, as it cannot indicate what particular kinds of organisms or contaminants are found.
The project started in May 2009 and ended in December 2013.