We seek partners with technologies or methods to remove pesticides from fruit and vegetables during storage within a refrigerator. Preference will be given to technologies or approaches that currently have working prototypes that can undergo feasibility, validation or proof of concept over a 3-6month period.
Financial support for the proof of concept phase will be negotiated based on specific performance targets agreed between both parties. For selected collaborators Haier may provide access to samples, test equipment and testing facilities. Technologies will need to satisfy manufacturability, material cost and ease of use assessments to progress from the concept stage.
Food safety is a growing concern in China and other countries. Chinese consumers are aware of the heavy use of pesticides in fruit and vegetable production and are not confident in the ability of organizations in the value chain to provide products free from pesticide residues. Consumers are performing multiple washings of fruit and vegetables at home without knowing if this has removed pesticide residues. Consumers have expressed an interest in simple, home based methods for detection and removal of pesticides that can be incorporated into refrigerators.
Haier Group Open Innovation Center invites proposals from companies (large or small and medium enterprises), inventors or researchers with concept or prototype solutions that enable the removal of pesticides from fruit and vegetable stored within a refrigerator.
Haier is aware of technologies that require dipping the fruits/vegetables in water with chemical substances, and the use with ultrasound. Such approaches require consumers to purchase an additional appliance and use significant volumes of water. As many Chinese home kitchens are small, consumers do not wish to have extra appliances. Haier seeks partners that can develop novel technologies to integrate pesticide removal within a refrigerator and that use minimal water.
Key Success Criteria
Successful responses will:
• Remove over 90% of pesticide residues from the surface of fruit and vegetables. (Organophosphates, organochlorines, pyrethroids and carbamates are the common pesticide classes used in Chinese agriculture)
• Operate within a domestic refrigerator in a space equivalent to that of a regular fruit/vegetable drawer (20M30L), at typical refrigeration temperatures, with low noise and no impact on refrigeration performance
• Have minimal impact on food quality such as taste, texture, nutrient content
• Be made from materials considered food grade and able to be in contact with foodstuffs and present no safety concerns to consumers
• Be intuitive to use such that consumers require no additional training
• Have a quick pesticide removal speed (technologies requires longer time will also be considered if the removal efficiency is good)
• Have zero or low water consumption. If water is necessary for operation, the water consumption volume shall be no lessn than a few water drops
• Input voltage: 5M12V; current:
• Lifetime: 10 years
- Actual test data is available.
Possible solution areas
- Possible approaches include adapting known cleaning technologies to the smaller dimensions of a refrigerator drawer and the requirement of low water use:
- Ultrasonic cleaning tanks
The following technologies or approaches are not of interest:
- Approaches that use large volumes of water such as dipping food in a water filled container or extensive water spraying
- Approaches requiring consumables, detergents or surfactants
- Ozone and ultraviolet technologies
Preferred Collaboration Type
Haier prefers to work with partners that have existing technologies or approaches that can be applied to this specific application. Collaboration can involve technology licensing, product sourcing, proof of concept leading to joint development agreements and assistancewithscale-up to manufacturing.
Preference will be given to technologies or approaches that currently have working prototypes that can undergo feasibility, validation or proof of concept over a 3-6 month period.
Financial support for the proof of concept phase will be negotiated based on specific performance targets agreed between both parties. For selected collaborators Haier may provide access to samples,test equipment and testing facilities. Technologies will need to satisfy manufacturability, material cost and ease of use assessments to progress from then concept stage.
For all responses please indicate your preferred collaboration approach (eg supply, joint development, research) and capabilities (eg research, concepts, prototype, small scale manufacture, large scale manufacture).