Grapes are an important Canadian crop. Canadian winemaking industries rely on grape growers. However, grape crops are threatened by a mould that causes downy mildew. This disease spreads onto grape leaves and if left untreated can kill much of the plant. The grape fruit becomes covered in a dense carpet of mould tissue, and the crop is spoiled and lost. Not just a Canadian problem, downy mildew has become an agricultural concern for vineyards world-wide. Global warming is expected to make the incidence and impact of downy mildew worse.
Food waste is a multibillion-dollar problem in Canada and around the world. Some level of waste may be unavoidable, but large amounts of safe food are lost every year because of the arbitrary nature of measuring food spoilage. This is especially true at the wholesale and retail level for meat products. Food typically spoil in a highly predictable and reproducible way. Here, we will develop a device that will allow an untrained worker to quickly assess whether food is spoiled to allow a rational design about whether that product is fit for consumption or should be discarded.
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