Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Radio frequency identification project comes to the rescue of meat

Following the recent scandal of 110 tonnes of rotten meat found at several warehouses in Germany, a team of university researchers is developing a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system using laser beams to recognize and record the freshness of meat as it moves from the ...
Radio frequency identification project comes to the rescue of meat
Following the recent scandal of 110 tonnes of rotten meat found at several warehouses in Germany, a team of university researchers is developing a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system using laser beams to recognize and record the freshness of meat as it moves from the slaughterhouse to the supermarket.

Started in 2006, FreshScan is a three year project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to the tune of €3 million and coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Micro-integration (IZM).

Currently at the conceptual phase, the project will work on developing a two-component system. The first is a semi-active RFID tag with temperature sensors to continually record the condition of the meat as it is distributed along the supply chain. The second is an RFID reader equipped with an optical detector using a laser beam to analyse and record the condition of the meat as it is documented in the tag.

'The reader measures the light spectrum in which chemical changes can be detected,' said Rolf Thomasius, a researcher from IZM.

The reader will use Raman spectroscopy, a technology usually found in telescopes and satellites. This will involve pointing a laser beam at the meat and measuring the beam's absorption and reflection, which change as the chemical properties or freshness of the meat change.

The researchers will also be working on a demonstration model of this mobile 'freshness scanner' in the hope of commercialising it when the project ends.

'Our goal is to create a very close prototype at the end product, so that we can launch the system shortly after the research project ends' said Mr Thomasius.

A recent public consultation on the widespread use of RFID technologies by the EU found that public opinion is split down the middle on the potential of RFID, with as many respondents sceptical to the technology's usefulness as those optimistic that RFID can improve the lives of European citizens.

Source: Foodnavigator-usa.com

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Countries

  • Germany
Record Number: 26917 / Last updated on: 2007-01-09
Category: Other
Provider: EC