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E-Nose: The Sniffing Device for Detecting Food Adulteration

Nutrelis Agro Foods stands as a beacon of innovation in the realm of organic food production and agricultural technologies like e-nose, catering to the burgeoning demand for healthier, environmentally sustainable, and ethically sourced nourishment. Their diverse product portfolio encompasses a spectrum of offerings, ranging from pure instant coffee powder to chicory flour, herbal teas to protein powder. By providing such wholesome alternatives, Nutrelis empowers consumers to make conscientious choices that prioritize their well-being and the planet’s health. Moreover, Nutrelis plays a pivotal role in supporting local farmers by offering them a consistent market channel for their cash crops, thereby fostering economic stability and growth within rural communities.

In an exclusive dialogue with The Interview World, Pradeep Dwivedi, the Founder and CEO of Nutrelis Agro Foods, illuminates their latest breakthroughs. He unveils the e-nose, a cutting-edge personal food inspector capable of instantly assessing the quality of agricultural products. Additionally, Dwivedi introduces a revolutionary paper-based sensor designed to detect adulteration in milk, empowering consumers with the means to ensure food safety. These innovations underscore Nutrelis’s unwavering commitment to excellence and consumer well-being.

Q: What specific innovations is your organization spearheading within the realm of agriculture?

A: In agriculture, our recent innovation involves the development of e-noses, or electronic noses. These devices, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, are compact handheld gadgets. They utilize aroma sensors to instantly analyze food products. For instance, they can detect the presence of mustard oil in quantities like 50%, 60%, or 40%, as well as identify various spices.

Moreover, these e-noses can also detect other aromatic substances such as oil and ghee. Their applications are diverse. For instance, as a supplier or buyer, when sourcing materials in bulk, time is crucial.

Currently, if I need to purchase large quantities of cardamom, it takes around 5-6 days to conduct lab tests. However, with the e-nose technology, I can make immediate decisions based on the device’s analysis of the product’s quality.

This saves valuable time. Furthermore, looking ahead, we aim to integrate this technology into everyday life. We envision creating small connectors that can be easily integrated with mobile phones. With this setup, individuals can assess food quality directly from their homes, enhancing convenience and efficiency. This advancement holds the potential to revolutionize food quality assessment at the consumer level.

Q: What is the current stage of development for your product?

A: Over the past two years, we’ve dedicated ourselves to developing this product. During this time, we’ve achieved a prototype with an impressive 95% accuracy rate. Collaborating closely with our partner, IIT Kanpur, we’ve allotted them 3% equity for their contributions. Together, we’ve meticulously crafted the device, achieving a significant milestone of 95% completion. Presently, our focus shifts to refining the software component. We anticipate a full market launch within the next six months.

Q: What is the anticipated price of the product?

A: We’ve managed to keep its price quite affordable at Rs. 5000, a significant feat considering that similar products in other countries often command prices ranging from Rs. 20 lakhs to Rs. 80 lakhs. These conventional devices, while effective, are burdened by their bulkiness.

However, our innovation lies in its compactness, reducing it to the size of a car key without compromising its functionality. This breakthrough not only enhances its portability but also makes it more accessible to a wider range of users.

Another notable innovation addresses the pervasive issue of milk adulteration in India. The widespread consumption of adulterated milk poses serious health risks to consumers. In response, we’ve developed a cutting-edge solution—a paper-based sensor, a simple yet effective strip. With just a drop of milk containing adulterants like sulfur or detergent, the sensor undergoes a color change, instantly indicating the presence of contaminants.

Priced at an economical Rs. 5 per strip, it represents a groundbreaking advancement in affordability for such technology. Each test costs less than 50 paisa, making it not only effective but also cost-effective for households across India.

We’re currently in the final stages of preparation for an online launch next month. The manufacturing process is already underway, marking a significant milestone in our partnership with DRDO for Defense purposes. This innovative product will be marketed under the name Milk Check, underscoring its role in ensuring the safety and purity of milk consumed by millions.

Q: What are the primary data sources considered reliable and utilized in developing the algorithm to ensure its high accuracy?

A: Consider the prevalence of mustard oil consumption in North India. We procured a pure, unadulterated sample comprising 100% mustard oil and meticulously crafted calibrated samples to represent various potential adulterants, including palm oil. All data, including digital signatures, has been meticulously archived in secure cloud storage. Our comprehensive database encompasses countless samples, allowing for robust analysis. When evaluating a product, our sophisticated system swiftly cross-references it with our extensive dataset, promptly providing precise details regarding the percentage of adulteration detected. This streamlined process ensures efficient and accurate identification of any impurities present, empowering consumers to make informed choices about the products they use.

Q: What innovative developments have you introduced in the realm of sugarcane and coconut powders?

A: We collaborate with farmers, initially starting with just four and now expanding our reach to 40,000. The issue faced by sugarcane farmers was delay in receiving payments after taking their produce to the mill. Our focus lies in value addition, stemming from research and new product development. By naturally converting sugarcane juice into powder and packaging it in sachets with a shelf-life of 12 months, we address this problem.

The powdered form of sugarcane juice serves as an energy booster when mixed with water. Simply add the powder to 180 ml of water, and your sugarcane juice is ready in an instant, ensuring hygiene as well. This innovation holds significant potential for widespread use, particularly in tourist areas.

Similarly, we employ the same concept for coconut water through a patented drying process, ensuring complete preservation. Our core principle is to avoid the use of chemical preservatives throughout the entire production process, from cultivation to the final product. Presently, we offer 400 different products and export to five countries, in addition to operating eight retail shops of our own.

Q: What is the current revenue, and what is the projected revenue trajectory over the next five years?

A: Currently, our annual revenue stands at approximately Rs. 25 crore. However, in the next five years, we anticipate surpassing the Rs. 200 crore mark. Specifically, within one year, our agro-business is projected to soar to Rs. 100 crore. This significant growth is attributed to the accessibility and portability of our e-nose technology. With its affordability and handheld design, it will enable consumers to discern the composition of their food accurately. Our overarching goal is to revolutionize food safety and promote healthier dietary choices through our innovative solutions. This ambition drives our long-term vision for the company.

E-Nose – The Innovative Food Inspector for Sensing Food Quality
E-Nose – The Innovative Food Inspector for Sensing Food Quality
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Pradeep is realy a pioneer and coming up with such brilliant idea to quickly identify any alteration in food is its proof.
    He have also come up with same kind of product for milk too and can quickly identity any alteration in milk too.

    My best wishes for his success.

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