Entrant Profile

Ala Eldin Omer

Location: Waterloo, Ontario Canada

Company: University of Waterloo

Profession: Student

Number of times previously entering contest: 1

Inspired by: Food safety has grabbed great attention from research institutes and industrial communities over the recent years. The boundless demand of food urges the industry for massive production that satisfies the consumer’s quality standards and meets the health safety standards. Towards smart industries, new methods and practices were adopted to effectively apply the quality control procedures exploiting the recent advances on the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. Among different foods, the oil products that contain composite blend of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats where various carbon chain lengths are incorporated. Monitoring the quality of oils is paramount not only during their production, transportation, and storage phases but also, more importantly, for controlling their authenticity by the regulatory authorities. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for instance, is massively prone to frequent fraudulent activities in the oil industry. To lower the cost of production, fake olive oils are currently produced from mixing cheap and low-quality edible or botanical oils like soybean, sunflower, and canola types with the virgin olive oil of high quality and cost. The adulteration results into modulating the composition of the fatty acids and compounds while removing many of the EVOO flavour-related features of much desirability. In addition, such adulteration would reduce the associated health benefits and may raise health issues for customers who are allergic to some supplements such as peanut proteins. Due to the high similarity in physical characteristics of the EVOO product with those been significantly or moderately modified, the detection of its authenticity by typical consumers or retailers may prove impractical. Such a hurdle has instigated the EVOO adulteration more dominantly in the industry to commercialize fraudulent products that are not compatible with the quality requirements of original EVOO. Many counterfeit activities have been reported in the olive oil industry over the recent years despite the quality standards and legal requirements issued by the IOC (International Olive Council) for different grades of olive oil.
With non-invasive, non-destructive, uncontaminated, and rapid responses for simple measurement routines, the narrow-band microwave resonant-based technology looks more apropos for industrial applications of automated and computerized processes. Such techniques could be effectively used in oil fraud detection to rapidly identify different oil types through their electromagnetic (EM) fingerprints in the microwave spectral range of frequency domain. They could also be used to detect any impurity present in oils through capturing the tiny modifications in their EM properties over a narrow band as implemented in our proposed device.

2020 Entries

Date Title Category Views Votes
07/02 Glucowaves for Convenient Pain-free Blood Glucose Level Monitoring Medical 1563 18