Fish fraud creates a frustrating conundrum for the food world. Unfortunately, studies seem to show that fraud of all kinds—including a surprising amount of intentional mislabeling—is extremely common with seafood. But at the same time, determining if a fish is what it purports to be in a practical way can be impossible. Congress has tried to address the issue—surprise, they haven’t gotten very far—so instead, scientists have been trying to put the power to detect illegitimate seafood in the literal hands of suppliers. One of these devices was just recognized at Europe’s InnovEIT awards last week.
Though TellSpec, as the sensor is called, is small enough to fit in any seafood lover’s pocket, it’s still not quite cheap enough to end up there. The technology, which is targeted at those along the supply chain, costs about $1,450—and, though the smartphone app it connects to is free, users are still required to pay a fee per analysis, according to FoodNavigator-USA.