SOURCE: ARS Lab

April 10, 2014 11:14 ET

New Handheld Device to help Prevent Food Poisoning Launched

Unique 'e-Nose' Helps Users Provide Healthier Food for Themselves and Their Families

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Apr 10, 2014) - A first-of-its-kind handheld device and mobile app which provides information about the freshness and quality of meat, poultry and fish to help prevent food poisoning and wastage has launched today. The prototype device, named 'PERES', is also featuring on the international crowdfunding site Indiegogo at igg.me/at/getperes, where its developers aim to raise funds to back further product development and bring it to market. Access our multimedia news release with videos/images: http://www.epresspack.net/mmr/news/6396

Food-related illness is a global challenge. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that more than 200 diseases are spread through food1, and in the US it is estimated that there are 76 million cases of foodborne illness, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths, each year2.

PERES was developed by ARS Lab Ltd, a company dedicated to creating innovative products and solutions for the food sector, in conjunction with scientists from the Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, who together spent a year developing the prototype.

Augustas Alesiunas, CEO of ARS Lab, said, "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. 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."

Since launching its Indiegogo page, PERES has already reached 25% of its funding goal, which demonstrates the public's interest and enthusiasm for the device.

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.

This information is 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.

Dr Darius Gailius, Doctor of Technology, PhD in Technical Sciences, at Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, said: "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. I am delighted to have been involved in developing PERES, and playing a part in helping people make these important food-related decisions."

With more than 90% of Americans throwing food out prematurely3, the team behind PERES intend that 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 aim is that users can save money that they might have ordinarily spent on supermarket food that was already partway through the 'rotting process'.

Notes to editors
For more information and to see the PERES crowdfunding campaign please visit igg.me/at/getperes.

Funds raised on Indiegogo will go towards further development of the device, including precision calibration of PERES, development of the app for Android and iOS, beta testing and commercialization. Patents on the device are pending.

1 WHO. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/food-safety/data-and-statistics

2 World Health Organisation, The Present State of Foodborne Disease in OECD Countries. http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/foodborne_disease/oecd/en/

3 http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/19/health/sell-by-dates-waste-food/

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