New handheld device and mobile app to help prevent food poisoning launched

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 28th April 2014
The new PERES smartphone app indicates whether foods is off

A first-of-its-kind handheld device and mobile app that provide information about the freshness and quality of meat, poultry and fish to help prevent food poisoning and wastage has been launched as a prototype in the UK.

The device, named ‘PERES’, was developed by ARS Lab Ltd, a company that creates innovative products for the food sector, in conjunction with Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania. The prototype took a year to develop.

“We have worked with some of the best scientists and developers in the industry to create a working prototype, and are excited to continue developing the product so it can be made widely available later this year,” said Augustas Alesiunas, CEO of ARS Lab.

The prototype has also been featured on the international crowdfunding site Indiegogo, where its developers aim to raise funds to back further product development and bring it to market.

“We feel strongly that PERES would be an invaluable addition to any home and are extremely grateful for the support that the device is getting via the Indiegogo platform,” he said.

How it works

To operate the device, users simply point it towards the food product and click a button. Within a few seconds they receive information on their smartphone or tablet about the product, including whether or not the product is fresh, whether it may have been left unrefrigerated, and whether there may be a risk of food poisoning.

ARS Lab said this information was “invaluable in helping people make informed choices about the food that they eat and gives them peace of mind before buying and eating a piece of meat, fish or poultry”.

“With an increasing focus on the quality of the food that we eat, and that we feed to our families, the time is right to enable the home user to take more control over their food choices,” said Dr Darius Gailius, Doctor of Technology, PhD in Technical Sciences, at Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania. “I am delighted to have been involved in developing PERES, and playing a part in helping people make these important food-related decisions,” he said.

Device will also help prevent waste

With the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) finding that nearly a third of food is wasted globally, the PERES development team said the device will also help prevent unnecessary food wastage in the home.

As well as giving users confidence in the freshness and quality of their food, the developers said the aim was that users could save money that they might have ordinarily spent on supermarket foods that was “already part way through the rotting process”.