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INESC TEC participates in project to control quality of frying oils

INESC TEC’s Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG) and Centre for Applied Photonics are involved in a project – together with AMBIFOOD, the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto (FFUP) and ASAE’s (health and safety authority) Chemistry Laboratory – where the goal is to create technology to control the quality of frying oils. This work has an impact on public health as there is a causal link between the ingestion of oils used for frying food, their degradation, and the emergence of certain pathologies.

In a project that is unique in the world, the quality of the oils is controlled using optical systems and software that registers and monitors data using a smartphone. EYEFRY tries to respond to a need following the legislation in force, which states that only a maximum of 25% of polar composites can be found in frying oils, and the notion that the current analysis systems do not correspond to the needs of companies. This product is for organisations working in the food industry, for whom quality control is mandatory, taking into consideration legal and economic issues.

“The solution obtained with the EYEFRY provides food business operators an analysis system that not only preserves the health of the consumers by preventing them from ingesting oils with toxic substances, and also avoids unnecessary costs, as the oil is controlled more properly, and prolonging the useful life of oils, maintaining them at adequate levels”, states António Gaspar, coordinator of CSIG.

The results of the EYEFRY were presented on 30 June at INESC TEC. Members of IAPMEI, of the Centro Hospitalar do Porto (Porto Hospital Centre) and ASAE (Authority for Food and Economic Security) attended this event to discuss the implications that this theme has on public health, its framework and official control, and practical interest.

This project was funded by the Regional Operational Programme for the North of Portugal ("ON.2 - O Novo Norte"), the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The INESC TEC researcher mentioned in this article is associated with the following partner institution: INESC TEC.

Photo credits: Lifehacker

INESC TEC, June 2015

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