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Innovative Packaging for the Detection of Fresh Meat Quality and Prediction of Shelf-Life (TOXDTECT)
Start date: Nov 1, 2013, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the last 10 years, EU beef production has declined nearly 15% due to decreased consumer demand because of animal disease issues. As the concern about food poisoning is growing among consumers and Food Standard and safety agencies, the food industry is called to bring in changes. On the other hand, current consume by and best before dates are confusing for consumers. A recent survey indicates that half of people do not understand the differences between date labels and 40% of consumers are skeptical to the traditional label system. As a consequence, tons of unnecessary fresh meat wastes are produced every day.The aim of TOXDTECT project is to develop an Intelligent Packaging solution for fresh Bovine meat products. The proposed system will consist of a passive array of sensors easily embedded within the package at low cost via printing. An external reader will power the sensors and will correlate the different parameters measured in the headspace in order to determine the real state and properties of the meat. Using this information, the system will be able to determine the remaining shelf life of the product according to existing safety regulations. . Compared to existing test methods like sensory and microbiological analysis which are costly and destructive, our solution will offer a non-destructive, accurate and cost-effective method to determine the integrity of packed meat and predict its shelf life. The primary market will be focused on bovine meat to solve the problems of the beef industry in Europe, but potential applications to poultry and other meat products are expected.

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