Dr. S Pushpavanam

Institute Chair

Dept of Chemical Engg

IIT Madras

Location: Dept of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras.

PROTOTYPE EXPLANATION – Paper based analytical device for monitoring of pesticide residues in fruits/vegetables.

Problem we are trying to solve:

Fruits and vegetables are the most part of our daily diet but yet we have no information of their chemical toxicity. When we buy fruits or vegetables from a market, whether its organic or conventionally grown, how do we ensure that they are free from toxic chemicals? In conventional market there is always a question as to how far are these products safe to consume? In the current scenario, pesticide abuse has raised serious concerns among the consumers due to its harmful effects like neurotoxicity. On the other hand, farmers face the fear of rejection of export quality fruits and vegetables. Overuse of pesticides than standard limits have caused a decline in our exports of fruits like mangoes, grapes at ports.

Currently all good quality test is centrally done in APEDA accredited labs where, the samples have to be physically picked and sent for testing. The results are not immediately available, during which time the farm produce gets spoilt during storage. Hence there is a huge demand for a reliable quick on-site sensor to detect pesticide. Paper labs have come with a simple and affordable kit for pesticide detection based on paper based sensing.

So how do we solve this issue?

  1. We are working on enabling farmers and consumers identify and know the quality of fruits and vegetables using paper based low-cost, self-intuitive sensors.
  2. Samples need not be sent to any sophisticated lab and the pre-analysis can be done on spot.
  3. A user has to just use the detection kit and follow a set of simple instructions and one could tell the level of pesticide contamination in their product in just matter of minutes. 
  4. The level of pesticide content can be determined by just looking at the colour change in the device after testing sample.
  5. We believe that our product will enable farmers and consumers to be more confident about the products they buy and sell.
  6. The paper lab sensors can be used by fssai and other food quality monitoring bodies as a first hand analysis of farm produce and help them in decision making at port

Our vision

  1. To build a quality control platform for monitoring pesticide usage in fruits and vegetables.
  2. To make people more aware about chemical toxicity and quality of fruits and veggies they consume and this will ultimately lead to more and more people eating healthy and awareness of what they eat.

How to use our sensor?

The pesticide detection kit provided by Paper Labs provides utmost simplicity and ease for any customer.
The sensor consists of two zones. Zone 1 and zone 2.

  • Step 1: Spray the solution 1 on the sample. Simply wipe the fruit to be tested with the zone 1, and incubate for 10 minutes.
  • Step 2: Fold the paper strip along the dotted line to align the test zones.
  • Step 3: Apply solution 2 to zone 2 and wait for 5 minutes to read the results.

Follow the color chart to know the level of pesticide contamination in your fruit

Blue colour indicates absence of pesticides

No colour confirms the pesticide content in desired fruits or vegetables.

USP Simple, quick and affordable on-site detection of pesticide in fruits and vegetables using environmental friendly paper based sensors to ensure food safety. Reliable kit to evaluate pesticide content to reduce sample rejection rate in export quality organic fruits and vegetables.


For any further information, please contact: Dr Jayavignesh Vijayan – 9486045067


Posted on

April 23, 2019

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