(Newswire.net — April 22, 2016) Cedar Falls, Iowa — In a move to help consumers know what’s in their food and water, Iowa startup Blue Planet Science is releasing a handheld deep-ultraviolet scanner that gives real-time warnings and data about the health and safety of food and water. Pre-sales for the device, known as DUV ScnR, begin on Earth Day.
Citing the increasing toxicity of our food and water, Blue Planet Science CEO Merlin Yockstick calls the DUV ScnR a “real game changer.” “Putting this in the hands of consumers, especially moms, will start a much needed response up the food and water supply chains.” Farmers, producers, packagers and distributors, he explains, will also use the scanner, in addition to commercial versions due out this summer.
The initial units will test for 200 different contaminants and nutrients, including heavy metals, pesticides, e-coli, herbicides, mold, bacteria and essential nutrients like amino acids and minerals. The controversial herbicide glyphosate is also on the list of contaminants tested.
Concerns about the safety of our nation’s food and water have increased dramatically after the Flint, Michigan water crisis, and consumers, especially millennials, are helping drive sales of organic products to new levels. At $30 billion annually, sales of USDA products certified as “organic” are twice what they were ten years ago.
But organic, Yockstick cautions, does not necessarily mean safe. Depending on the water used in producing the food—or even sprayed on the food in the grocery store—organic food can be equally contaminated. “Everyone, from farmers, moms and grocery chains really do want to know what’s in our food and water, and they will finally be able to get that information in real time,” says Yockstick. Citing a new era of transparency in our food supply, he predicts that “the Real-Time Data Revolution has just begun.”
Pre-sales for the unit begin on Earth Day, through the Fight Of The Century campaign initiated by the nonprofit ReFounding A Bold America. A July 4th event in Philadelphia to fully launch the Fight Of The Century campaign for safe and healthy food and water is planned. Delivery of the DUV ScnR is expected in the fall, if not sooner.
Lead scientist Dr. Andrea Neal says that they are making the DUV ScnR as easy for consumers to read as possible. It has a near-instantaneous readout that identifies whether the product is “safe,” “not safe for children or pets,” or “unsafe.” A smart device app will also be available to provide more detailed information.
The handheld device, about the size of a computer mouse, uses deep-ultraviolet light to scan the surface of the product for toxins and nutrients. Food will need to be cut open to do further testing on the safety and healthiness of the inside. The error rate for the DUV ScnR will be minimal, 0.1%, says Neal, adding that the science for the technology is broadly based on technology utilized at NASA/JPL. Neal notes that other devices on the market using near-infrared and other technology have much larger error rates–from 10 to 20%. Such a high error rate when it comes to food and water safety, she says, is not acceptable.
“I’m a mom,” says Neal. “When I think about this product I think about me juggling my 16-month-old and trying to do the grocery shopping.” That is why, she reports, they have designed it for ease of use and immediate feedback. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time,” she says, “and something I’m looking forward to having in my purse when I go to the grocery store.”
More information about the pre-sale of units, including a webinar with Dr. Neal, can be found at www.FightOfTheCentury.org/DUV.
About Blue Planet Science
Blue Planet Science is dedicated to providing tech tools and methodologies for ReGenerative Agriculture as well as consumers looking to lead the way toward a healthy and sustainable society.
Blue Planet Science8120 Jennings Dr.
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613