Lithuanian e-nose will help identify dangerous food

29 October 2013, Last updated at, 13:36 EEST
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author: PantherMedia/Scanpix

The world’s first mobile e-nose designed to determine the freshness and quality of meat, poultry, and fish is being developed by the Lithuanian company ART21, in cooperation with Kaunas University of Technology. The product will be presented at the largest information and communications technology event in Europe, ICT2013, which will take place on 6–8 November.

Whilst similar devices are already on the market, they are for industrial or laboratory application. In contrast, the e-nose under development by the Lithuanians is small and neat, being no bigger than a USB flash drive. The device has a sensor array and data transfer technologies – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The company’s shareholder and board member Augustas Alesiūnas says that the e-nose’s purpose is to ‘smell’ certain chemical properties and gases released by meat, poultry, and fish, and by using a number of algorithms to identify:

  • A product's level of freshness (from very fresh to dangerous to consume)
  • Dangerous chemical elements and toxic substances which can cause serious diseases and cancer.

The e-nose will transfer data to a smartphone, where software will analyze and present data in a simple and user-friendly way. Users will also be able to receive the nose’s test results using smartphones, and share their experience, opinions, and information on social websites.

Mr Alesiūnas predicts that the e-nose’s retail price could be around EUR 150. He hopes to find most demand in Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Lithuania. “We wanted to create a device that would help everybody who cares about nutrition to quickly and effectively assess the food they are about to eat,” he says.

According to Mr Alesiūnas, this innovative device has the following exceptional features: small size, the use of smartphones for data, and a very attractive price – alternative solutions are at least ten times bigger and cost 10–100 times more.

Rimantas Sinkevičius, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania, said that ICT 2013 is a great opportunity for the company that developed the e-nose, as well as for Lithuania to demonstrate its potential to the world.

“Information and communications technology is our niche. We lead Europe with our number of hotspots, and Vilnius has the highest Internet download speed in the world. We have many more achievements to be proud of, and can compete in Europe and globally,” the Minister concluded.

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