Please Help Our Team! We need your input!

Help the team by visiting the Our Project tab. Read about our project, and then participate in our poll on the right sidebar by Wednesday, January 18th.
The information will help us show the judges at the tournament Saturday how many people know about our project. Thank You!

Our Project

Incidental Protein
Please participate in our poll on the right

The Problem
Our problem for this year's research project is the infestation of weevils in flour. Adult weevils bore into the grain while it is in the field, and lays an egg in the wheat grain. The eggs are about the same size as a particle of flour, so they are small enough to make it through both the milling and the regular purifying processes. Most people would be grossed out if they knew that there were most likely weevils in their flour. The newly-hatched weevils can also escape and infest the rest of your pantry.

When the grandfather of some of the team members was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, in the USMC, there was a severe infestation of weevils. Every consumable product that contained any type of grain was thrown out. There were no cereals, pasta, bread, anything. There was a three-week wait for fresh grains. After that, they had to freeze all their grains before using them.

Common Household Solutions
Common household solutions to remove weevils include freezing the flour for 3 days, which kills both the bugs and the eggs; cooking the flour in the oven for a couple of hours, which kills them both; airtight containers draw the adults to the to the surface and suffocates them; putting nails (zinc), matches (sulfur), black pepper, and bay leaves in with the flour or on the shelf with them all drive the adults away. Vinegar (acetic acid) kills the adults, but acetic acid is also dangerous to the flour. If all else fails, just throw it away!

Some of our other research
UVGI (UltraViolet Germicidal Irradiation) is a sterilization method that emits UVC, or "Germicidal UV", from a CFL lamp. It is lethal to micro-organisms, and it is used to sterilize laboratories, hospital rooms, septic tanks, air and water purifiers, and certain fruit juices. Aluminum is the best reflector of UVC.

Our Solution
Our solution uses UVGI (UltraViolet Germicidal Irradiation) lights to kill the adults, expand the eggs, and also purify the flour from mold and bacteria. The newly-bought flour is deposited into an air-tight container, which will also kill the adults beforehand. When you need flour, you just input the amount you need on the screen, and the machine will drop the required amount into a purification chamber. In the purification chamber, UVGI lights purify the flour, and then the pure flour is sifted through a Micro-Mesh screen into the waiting cup. Then it sucks all the bugs and eggs that were sifted out from the screen and into a disposable bag in a removable chamber on the back.
Weevils can infest from many places: in the field, in the mill, during transport, in the store, and in the home. Our solution removes the weevils in the home, immediately before use, as it is the last place that weevils can infest.
 Did you participate in our poll? If not, please help us by doing so.
Wikipedia (common solutions); Penn State Entomology Dept., Ohio State Entomology Dept., and North Dakota State Entomology Dept. websites (weevil identification, egg laying); Terminex website (weevil info); Grains Canada website (weevil identification); the Dunphy's grandmother (Okinawa story).