BENGALURU: A senior research fellow from the city has developed a pushcart equipped with a refrigeration system to enable fruit and vegetable vendors store their goods for a longer time.
The pushcart was developed by A S Venu (28) of the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR). His model received an award at an FKCCI event recently. Venu says he plans to begin production of the cart in three months and has applied for a patent.
Each cart would cost Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000. An option of renting it would also be available at Rs 500 per week. He claims the cart can keep green leafy vegetables fresh for two to three days and most other vegetables for seven days. Tomatoes can be stored for up to two weeks. The cart is also easier to manoeuvre, with a better steering system in place.
The model won the first prize of `1.5 lakh in a competition for business proposals conducted by FKCCI. The model won out of about 100 proposals and after going through five rounds.
Speaking of how he came up with the concept, Venu said, “I am from a rural background and migrated to Bengaluru when I was in Class 7. I saw many vegetable vendors here who struggled to manoeuvre their carts and were left with surplus goods which would go waste. I wanted to help them in some way.”
During his MTech course in processing and food engineering at IIHR, he discussed possible solutions for the problems with Dr G Senthil Kumaran, principal scientist at the institute and then came up with the concept. Venu says the cooling system can be used as a cheaper substitute for a refrigerator.
Construction of device
The device reduces the temperature by 8-10 degree Celsius and increases humidity by 90 per cent. It consists of a metallic frame insulated by a 2-inch layer of charcoal.Two troughs are filled with water and attached at the top and bottom of the frame. A cloth is suspended between the troughs, and due to capillary action it carries water from the top trough to the bottom one. When water in the top trough gets over, it
can be refilled manually or with a motor.