Updated: Feb 14, 2021
InfyU Labs was founded by two IIT Madras alumni, Amit Srivastava and Ankit Chauhan back in 2019. Amit did his B.Tech degree in Engineering Physics from IIT Madras and Ankit is Masters (By Research) Graduate in Computer Science from IIT Madras. After graduation, Ankit worked as an Algorithm Scientist in HPI, Germany for 3 years before coming back to India. Both of the founders share a collective vision of creating an innovation hub to solve common problems around us through technology.
InfyU Labs has been supported by various esteemed institutions like Google for Startups, ThinkAg, UNDP in India, IIT Gandhinagar, GDC IIT Madras, CIIE IIM Ahmedabad, GDC IIT Madras and Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre.
InfyU Labs has been awarded the “Most Emerging Agri Innovators Award 2021” by FICCI. It has received Govt. Of India’s Nidhi-EIR grant. It has also been the national winner of UNDP Youth Co:Lab 2019, National Winners of Boeing BUILD 2019, TechChill 2020 Fifty Founder Battle, and selected for the Google for Startups SDG program 2021.
What is our motivation?
Every year, India produces 275 million tonnes of food out of which 125 million tonnes of food which is valued around 3.2 Lakh crores go to waste during harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting and consumption. This is almost 40-50 % of the perishable commodities which go to wastage due to poor conditions for handing perishable fruits in India. Among the 17 Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) that the Member States of the United Nations have set, is to “Ensure responsible consumption and production”. To achieve this goal, specific targets need to be reached, including: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses”.
By the time you’re reading this, 821 million people around the world haven’t eaten anything in the past 2 days. In a recent survey led by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India), it has been found that around 50% of food in some major states in India isn’t even advised to consume. There is a huge gap of fresh fruits and vegetables testing across the entire chain.
Being from a farming background, we were able to establish a connection with farmers with a novel solution and understand their concern in the entire chain. We believe that if the quality parameters are detected at the source of procurement itself, then the necessary measures can be taken before itself in order to avoid food wastage and enhance the healthiness of the end-product.
In the Food Value chain, the decision of purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables is taken after sample testing of consignment. In this regard, around 5-10% of a fruit lot is transported as a sample to the designated testing lab. The eye opening fact for us was that the cost of the raw sample fruits has been borne by the farmers themselves.
The testing of the samples is based on parameters such as chemical composition, Firmness, TSS, Acidity, and nutritional value. All of these parameters are individually determined using sophisticated and costly lab instruments which make the entire process very costly, time consuming and dependent on the lab experts only. As the testing is destructive in nature, the sample size chosen for the testing itself is statistically very small. Due to which, the Quality Manager is never quality confident of the consignment.
What do we do?
We are an agritech startup working towards developing technologies to ensure easy food testing at each level of the Food Value Chain. We provide IoT based non-destructive solutions to determine the internal quality parameters of Fruits and Vegetables and digitize the consignment report by AI-based smart analytics. Our flagship product, InfyZer is a handheld device which instantaneously determines the internal quality parameters like TSS (BRIX), Acidity, Firmness, Ripeness, Shelflife, Starch Index, Moisture content, Spoilage and many more, without cutting the fruits.
InfyU Labs deals with commodities like Apples, Mangoes, Pears, Pomegranate, Grapes and Red Chilli currently and have been working with some major Indian retail chains incl. Adani Agri and Tata Trent. In our case studies, we were successfully able to identify all internal quality parameters of a fruit in just 4 secs with an exceptional accuracy of 98.5% compared to existing lab testing methods. With this, we envision to provide cost effective non-destructive quality testing methods across the entire Food Value Chain and fair pricing based on the quality to the farmers.