Aflatoxin rapid detection technology wins Big Data Inspire Challenge 2020
A little box that can predict the amount of harmful aflatoxin contained in a handful of sample groundnuts… sounds like a far-fetched notion? Not anymore. A collaboration between Pure Scan AI and ICRISAT to create a portable aflatoxin detector has won the Inspire Challenge by the CGIAR Big Data Platform at the recent Big Data Convention, earning a US$ 100,000 grant to build and scale up the device. Utilizing the blacklight fluorescence feature of aflatoxin, this device captures the fluorescence by cameras with filters. Images are processed and the fluorescence degree and pattern are fed into a learning model that predicts the quantity of aflatoxin present in the sample to an accuracy of 1 part per billion error margin. This is the first time ICRISAT has won an Inspire Challenge award.
While more work needs to be done to bring this innovation to the farmer – e.g. an android app and a web platform have to be built, the innovators are hopeful that the device will soon enable farmers to access online marketplaces for a fair price on their high-quality produce free of aflatoxin. For more details on the product, click here for an explainer video on the Rapid Low-Cost Aflatoxin detection using AI.