As a predominantly agricultural economy, India produces 275 million tonnes of food every year, according to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Unfortunately, a whopping 67 million tonnes of food, valued at Rs920 billion, goes to waste every year during harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting and consumption according to a publication by Clean India Journal.
RAAV Techlabs, a Delhi-based social enterprise, aims to reduce wastage across all stages of the supply chain using quality analysis devices that can detect nutrition and adulteration in several agricultural commodities like fruits, vegetables and milk.
“We have developed two devices capable of generating real time-data with regard to spoilage as well as nutritional value of food items so that processes like storage, logistics, and harvesting can be planned and executed efficiently without wastage. These devices are capable of reducing food wastage in India by 50 percent, provided they are utilised consistently for two to three years by farmers, middlemen, as well as consumers,” Rahul Kumar, Co-founder, RAAV Techlabs, told YourStory.
Rahul Kumar, Varshnee Raj, Abhinandan Bhargava and Alphonse Dhas Antony, alumni of NIIT University, Rajasthan, came together to form RAAV Techlabs in 2018. They went on to design and develop two devices: a fruit analyser and a milk analyser to detect several parameters which indicate quality of agricultural commodities.
The fruit analyser is a portable, hand-held device that can measure the chemical composition and identify spoilage within five seconds of coming in contact with the fruit or vegetable.
This is assessed and calculated in terms of shelf life, ripeness, sweetness and sourness. In order to measure these five elements, the device takes into account the quantity of chlorophyll, brix, acidity, and moisture.
“The device finds out when the fruit or vegetable is ready to be shipped to the end customer on the basis of these parameters and detects the substances that are commonly used to alter the texture, colour, and make the produce look appealing,” Varshnee Raj explains.