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Ava Pham

Class of 2017

Final Year Project(s)

PURAA at NTU ADM Portfolio

Food adulteration is an intentional act that debases the quality of food by altering its properties, usually for economic gain. Chemicals are added to food to make it last longer or look more appealing, thereby increasing profits for food suppliers. Such problem is currently rampant in many Asian countries such as China, India, Bangladesh, Philipines and Vietnam.

Using Vietnam as a case study, Project PURAA explores the potential of thin layer chromatography -a low cost laboratory technique to separate and analyse mixtures – to provide ordinary users with a way to check for the presence of harmful chemicals in fresh produce. PURAA replaces the complicated set-up in laboratories with a simplified home-based system that users can easily follow and understand. The device produces reliable testing results and communicates these results via simple product interface. A phone application further adds value to this product by giving users information on the chemicals, as well as creating a network where users can alert authorities about the sources of adulterated food.

PURAA comes with individual testing cartridges that are easily replaced per use. Cartridges are designed to be washable and resellable by manufacturers, minimising environmental impact in the long run.

PURAA is recommended to be used on a regular basis to check for the trustworthiness and quality of food suppliers.

Selected Coursework(s)