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A revolutionary quality indicator platform for the food industry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MultiSens (A revolutionary quality indicator platform for the food industry)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2019-01-31

The aim of MultiSens is to develop a revolutionary quality indicator platform for the food industry. This innovative intelligent
packaging platform will alert the customer of the meat quality adding value and benefits across the food packaging supply
chain, reducing waste, providing valuable end user feedback and help Europe maintain a market competitive advantage.
In the EU alone, food waste along the supply chain has been estimated at approximately 89 million tonnes or 180 kg per
capita per year, and is expected to rise to 126 million tonnes a year by 2020, unless action is taken. Currently households
produce the largest share of EU food waste (42%) and experts estimate that reducing food waste at consumer level in
developed countries by 30% could save roughly 400,000 sq/km2 of cropland by 2030.
Normally, food products are packed in a Modified Atmosphere (MA), which consists of a mixture of gases optimised for the
food being packaged. Tracking the composition inside the packages can be checked if this MA has been consistent or if the
produce has already started to deteriorate. However, a non-destructive method for determining this MA has not, as yet, been
reported.
This project proposes to exploit the development and integration of a multi-membrane sensor in meat packages using
imaging and communication capabilities of smart devices for freshness detection while employing innovative packaging
methods for sensor integration. If the sensor is placed within / or on the package in such a way that it is in intimate contact
with the packaged meat headspace, it will allow the monitoring of key gases within its surroundings and relay information
about the quality of the meat. The economic and social impact of such a platform, even if reducing food produce waste by
10%, would be significant.
The novelty of this project lies in high-quality sensor preparation, the innovative methods for sensors immobilisation and the
easy, non-destructive method for detection.
Correlation of meat freshness with the concentration of gases inside meat packages (WP 1).
Development of selective, stable and accurate sensors for CO2, NH3 and H2S (WP 2).
Implementation of the sensors as part of the package (WP 3).
Smartphone application as quality control / user feedback system (WP 4).
Validation of MultiSens platform as quality system (WP 5).
MultiSens has developed a novel, versatile and efficient way to check meat freshness. This methodology can be used by companies to assure consumers that the product they are buying is in perfect conditions improving in this way, the quality of products
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