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30 Refrigerator Food Contamination Detection using Electronic Nose
Agnivah Poddar
Siddharth Muralidaran
Simran Patil
Anthony Caton design_review
Team Members:
Siddharth Muralidaran (
Simran Patil (
Agnivah Poddar (

Refrigerator Food Contamination Detection using Electronic Nose

Food poisoning is a serious problem that affects thousands of people every year. The pathogen Salmonella along with Listeria and Toxoplasma are implicated in 1500 deaths every year out of approximately 5000 total deaths reported in the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that salmonellosis caused by Salmonella spp. is the most frequently reported food borne disease worldwide [2]. Poisoning food must be detected early in order to prevent diseases. Contaminated food is usually detected by odor which is composed of molecules of specific sizes and shapes with a corresponding receptor in the human nose. The brain identifies the smell associated with that particular molecule when signaled by the receptor. Electronic nose is an array of sensors that imitates this biological functionality.

The main goal of the project is to build an electronic nose that can detect food contamination inside the refrigerator, before the human nose and notify the user through a UI interface attached to the refrigerator’s external wall. Concentration of certain gases like acetone, ethanol, Ammonia (NH3), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) etc. increases because of rotten food and thus can be detected by the array sensors which are the heart of the design. The following sensors are commercially available and can be used to detect certain chemicals, process the data and help with categorization. On looking into the data sheets of the following sensors, the working temperature range is around -10 to 45 °C which works well with our refrigerator’s internal conditions.

Sensor Sensitivity
TGS 2611.5%1 Methane
TGS 2611.5%2 Methane
TGS 2602 Hydrogen Sulfide
TGS 800 Fumes from food, alcohol, odor
TGS 822 Alcohol, organic solvents
TGS 4160 Carbon dioxide
SHT 11 Relative humidity and temperature

Additionally, we plan to incorporate features of an existing smart refrigerator in this adapter. This includes a barcode scanner to scan in packaged food to be added to the inventory in the refrigerator or feed in data about vegetables and fruits. This would also help in detecting spoilage of packaged food, which otherwise would not be detectable by the electronic nose.

Primary goal: The proof of concept exists in the form of multiple white papers. Our aim is to use the findings from these papers and implement a prototype that works in practical conditions like a refrigerator.



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