Mobile phone device easily measures food spoilage


Can a $1 device that connects to a cellphone become an essential tool to help solve the $1 trillion food waste problem?

GoMicro CEO and Founder Dr. Sivam Krish says the answer is yes – with GoMicro’s Spotcheck app and a detachable phone magnifier designed to accurately assess the level of ripeness or spoilage of fresh food.

Dr Krish provided evidence that GoMicro’s Spotcheck device effectively reads food spoilage accuracy in his presentation at the 400M Agrifood Innovation Forum in Toowoomba, Queensland on July 13.

Dr. Krish believes that GoMicro’s innovation, which provides greater accuracy through a superior imaging system and application of artificial intelligence, could save our agricultural industries huge sums of money.

“We can assess the ripeness or spoilage of fruits and vegetables with an accuracy of 86-99%, measured in days,” says Dr. Krish.

“It’s a very current problem that the food industry needs to tackle, with around 30% of our food spoiled.

“We can see that there are very strong business opportunities for a cheap, portable device to have the power to make accurate assessments of food spoilage.”

Dr Sivam Krish with GoMicro Spotcheck app and detachable phone magnifier.

Dr Krish says the GoMicro team took 100 images of an array of different vegetables each day to gather training images for building the AI ​​app. Typically, AI applications require thousands of images for training and are unable to achieve high accuracies under field conditions.

This is the latest milestone for GoMicro, a microscopy 4.0 company based at Flinders University’s New Venture Institute that started in 2020 as an Edtech company and has pivoted to become an AgTech company. GoMicro won the Bayer Grants4Ag competition, which led to an ongoing relationship with Bayer Crop Sciences, and won second prize in the 2021 Rocket Speeder FOOD WASTE + LOSS Accelerator Program pitch competition.

GoMicro’s goal of reinventing the microscope and instilling artificial intelligence in it is designed to make the highest quality technology available to the public, not just scientists.

The company’s patent-pending technology creates lab-grade imaging conditions that dramatically increase detection accuracy, reducing the number of images needed for training purposes, resulting in AI detection the most accurate available at this level of magnification.

GoMicro initially focused on agriculture to help farmers and agronomists detect pests, leaf diseases and accurately assess food quality.

“Any farmer with a phone will have the diagnostic capability of an agronomist – thanks to the construction of a more accurate AI engine in the phone-connected Spotcheck microscope,” says Dr Krish.

“This is an important breakthrough because microscopic information can provide a huge range of information on a wide range of agricultural issues. More importantly, we will enable everyone to build and deploy accurate AI applications.

Reference: Presented at the 400M Agrifood Innovation Forum in Toowoomba, Queensland on July 13, 2022.

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