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Computer Company ASUS Launches At-Home Food Safety Gadget PureGo PD100

Computer Company ASUS Launches At-Home Food Safety Gadget PureGo PD100

Veering away from computers, the PureGo PD100 is ASUS’ first foray into at-home food safety. Photo courtesy of ASUS.

ASUS — best known for its computers, laptops and phones — launched its first kitchen gadget, the PureGo PD100, designed to help ensure the cleanliness of fruits and vegetables. As its first foray into at-home food safety, ASUS says it’s bringing “laboratory-standard food safety testing equipment into your kitchen.” So, how does it work?

After placing newly-bought produce into a tub of water for two to three minutes, the PD100 is added to the bath so that its filter is submerged. An optical sensor behind the grille works with “dynamic algorithms” to detect harmful pesticides and residues leeching into the water from the fruits and vegetables. A status ring light indicates whether the produce is ready to eat (green) or whether more washing and rinsing is required (orange or red).

The device can be used on its own or with the Bluetooth-enabled app for automatic reminders, wash notifications and machine calibration prompts. Not only can the PD100 ensure produce is safe to eat, but it can also help users develop better fruit and vegetable washing habits over time. It comes equipped with a wireless charging station and lasts for six hours per charge. These features, along with the gadget’s minimalist look, helped it earn the Red Dot design award for 2021, along with several other design awards.

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Proper produce washing methods may not be pressing to most outside of professional kitchens, but the PD100 is making the case that it should be. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that nearly 48 million people are sickened by food contaminated with harmful germs each year, with produce being the culprit in many cases.

With the PD100, ASUS suggests that simply rinsing fruits and vegetables won’t cut it anymore. But the gadget is not foolproof. In the fine print, ASUS says that the device can “detect around 70 percent” of the pesticides used in the US as of 2020. Moreover, it can’t accurately test a handful of fruits and vegetables, including certain mushrooms, Okinawa spinach, red amaranth, strawberries, cloud ear fungus and seaweed.

However, it appears to be the first and only at-home food safety testing device on the market. So, if the alternative is simply guessing the cleanliness of fruits and vegetables, the device could prove a useful addition to a user’s food prep arsenal. That peace of mind comes at a steep price of $199, and the PD100 is available to North American consumers through ASUS’ website.

Where the gadget will fit into the $19.5 billion food safety testing market is not yet clear, but the COVID-19 pandemic has surely pushed forward the notion that cleaning produce is imperative for health and safety. Even though there is no evidence of food or its packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, the PD100 can give consumers comfort knowing their produce is safe to eat.