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Published on 31/01/2022

Photonic miniaturised smart system for on-the-spot food quality sensing

About the project:

Public health risk has been recognized as the only basis for restrictions of international trade in food. The authenticity of European food produced with defined quality standards is a key expectation of consumers as well as a key selling point for the European agri-food economy. Whereas food safety within Europe is well co-ordinated and has a high profile, this is not the case for detection of food fraud or the enforcement of associated legislation. Additionally, food spoilage due to microbial activity and other biological and chemical hazards throughout the food chain is one of the most significant threats to food security.

The guarantee of the food security and authenticity in Europe is of paramount importance.

Amongst the most prominent challenges, the following must be highlighted.

  • Development and manufacturing of smart objects and systems that closely integrate sensors, actuators, innovative MEMS, processing power, embedded memory and communication capabilities, all optimising the use of supply power
  • Technology breakthroughs notably in integration, miniaturisation with additional functionalities and mastering complexity
  • Highly reliable, resilient and resource efficient digital and heterogeneous smart objects and systems that could easily be made interoperable within systems of systems
  • Reliability and security as well as low power consumption, energy harvesting and the capability to operate under various and harsh conditions.


The main objective of PhasmaFOOD project (http://www.phasmafood.eu/) is to design and implement a parameterized, knowledge-based, multi-target food sensitive mini-portable system, with heterogeneous micro-scale photonics for on-the-spot food quality sensing and shelf-life prediction. In particular, the miniaturized smart integrated system will be able to detect food hazards, spoilage (incl. early sign of spoilage) and food fraud through the combined bio-chemical data analysis and additionally will be able to perform food components/additives analysis, food identification and prediction of food shelf-life.

Use cases / Verticals

PhasmaFOOD outcome is validated in three (3) use cases, in order to prove a cross-application and scalable market approach, at both lab validation scale and industrial trials.

  • Use case 1: Detection of mycotoxins in various grains and nuts. Aflatoxins detection. A simple, convenient ultraviolet test makes it possible to detect the possible presence of aflatoxin.
  • Use case 2: Detection of early sign of spoilage and spoilage in fruits, vegetables, meat, fish: combined with estimation on product expiration date.
  • Use case 3: Detection of food fraud: Adulteration of alcoholic beverages, oil, milk and meat.

WINGS involvement

WINGS is the Technical leader of PhasmaFOOD, WP6 (Prototypes, Testing and Validation Activities) and WP7 (Dissemination & exploitation activities) leader.

Design, implementation and evaluation of the required electronic board

  • Electronic board optimization for the resistive type of sensors
  • Low power programmable analogue signal conditioning and processing
  • Analogue routing/switching matrix
  • Smart signal processing capabilities and advanced communication functions
  • Smart algorithms integration into the hardware design
  • FPGAs/μ-controllers investigation
  • Definition of APIs, data models and cloud database organization
  • System Integration, packaging & prototypes
  • Manufacture of system housing according to the design
  • Integration of sensing array frontend, the communication actors, the final housing and by installing the embedded software
  • Initial prototype testing of sensor operation, data transfer to a smart phone, recording of test spectra and images

WINGS prospects

WINGS delivers software-intensive services and products in a range of areas, comprising smart wireless access, cloud continuum, software networks, verticals, big data analytics, security. In order to maximize the speed of implementations, our company has started the stream of work that is targeted to hardware-based smart systems. For instance, in a micro/nano-scale direction, WINGS has the opportunity to participate in the H2020 projects of PROTEUS (related to water monitoring) and PhasmaFOOD (related to food safety). In addition, WINGS is participating in H2020 PHANTOM project, which delivers an integrated cross-layer covering the entire computing continuum. Also with respect to wireless infrastructures, WINGS is participating in the H2020 5GPPP project called Flex5Gware and is coordinated by Intel Mobile Communications. Moreover, WINGS delivers services to the energy, banking and telco sectors through cooperation with large vendors.

PhasmaFOOD will be an opportunity for WINGS to establish and expand their know-how and expertise in electronic board design and prototyping, and in developing innovative miniaturized smart systems. WINGS needs to constantly upgrade the services offered by its computing assets, spanning from resource-constrained embedded devices up to cloud infrastructure. Novel prototypes will be used as a basis for seeking point-to-point contracts with existing (e.g. Intel) and new costumers, as well as venture capital funds for development of products in the area of low-power, embedded computing systems.

Awards/demonstration video

PhasmaFOOD First Prototype System Demonstrator

Website: www.phasmafood.eu

Framework: H2020 SSI – Smart System Integration

Duration: 01.2017-01.2020

This project has received funding from the Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No 732541

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