Food Factor Winners
WINNING TEAMS - Moderately Confused (Dublin, Ohio) & S.I.S. Robotic Revolution (Shelton, Connecticut)
Erasable Barcode – Prevents stores from selling meat that has been stored at unsafe temperatures
Have you ever wondered about the safety of your food at the grocery store? Or at home? Our solution, the Erasable Barcode, prevents the sale of meat stored at improper temperatures, and lets the consumer also know if the exposure results after the food has left the grocery store. Our Erasable Barcode combined a product called the Timestrip, which measures temperatures above 40 degrees, with the grocery store barcode. When the Erasable Barcode is activated, the word "SAFE" appears. As the time outside the temperature increases, the ink advances closer to the barcode. After two hours, the ink will flow into a chamber that covers the barcode, covering it up and preventing it from being able to be scanned. When this happens, the prefix "UN" will appear next to the word "SAFE", making it "UNSAFE". This works at home too, because if the meat has been stored at improper temperatures at home, the word "UNSAFE" will still appear, so the consumer will know.
S.I.S. Robotic Revolution
The "Smart Sticker" idea came from the team’s experience with the major power outages this past Fall in the Northeast. Many grocery stores experienced power loss, so even refrigerated food became undependable and unpredictable. The "Smart Sticker" is placed on the outside of a refrigerated food container(e.g., an egg carton) and has a positive color (green) indicating that the food has been properly stored at the appropriate temperature for the life of the product throughout its transportation and storage. If the food is left outside the acceptable temperature range for an extended period of time, the sticker will irreversibly change color (red) to indicate that possible food contamination may have occurred. If the food is placed back into appropriate temperature storage, the sticker will NOT change back to its original green color. This "Smart Sticker" was originally designed to protect eggs, but additional research has shown it can be altered for use on other products.
RUNNER-UP TEAM - MATobot (New York, New York)
Smart Milk Pitcher – Detects milk spoilage by measuring changes in pH
The intelligent milk pitcher detects milk spoilage by measuring pH change. It is equipped with flashing color lights, sound alarm, and a written message, alerting people (able or disabled, young and old) whether the milk is spoiled. This invention will prevent people from drinking spoiled milk and pouring away good milk. The cost of this pitcher can be recovered quickly by saving good milk that is poured away when the expiration date is passed and the medical cost for drinking spoiled milk. The intelligent milk pitcher also includes a light sensor and thermometer and is well insulated. This light sensor senses when the refrigerator door is open or closed, so these signals won’t go off when not needed. The pitcher is also insulated so that it can be unrefrigerated for a longer amount of time. The color-coded thermometer will show the temperature of the milk inside the pitcher. Milk should be kept between 34 to 40 degree Fahrenheit.
RUNNER-UP TEAM - Seven World Wonders (Yeruham, Israel)
Everybody is familiar with the fact that even a good picnic cooler can preserve food for up to 10 hours. By that time, all the ice keeping the cooler cold has melted away. However, when traveling, more ice is not readily available. With the cooling effect over, the food spoils, and eating it may result in diarrhea, vomiting, and other health risks. We address this problem with our FreezeStick innovation. We utilize chemical reactions in our FreezeStick innovation to renew the freezing of the ice in the cooler, gaining yet another 10 hours of cooling. The FreezeStick is a small sealed container, containing the necessary materials for the effect. When the time comes to re-freeze the cooler, the device is operated, and the cooling effect takes place. Due to its compact size, many FreezeSticks can be carried along, and used whenever necessary. The device is very low-price, and so can easily be part of a common travel kit.