Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/


Meat is a very fragile product and any error in meat processing, packaging, distribution or at the point of sale will potentially affect its quality. Failure to detect a pathogen may have a dreadful effect on consumer’s perception and a negative impact on the industry. These problems are important to the meat industry since the freshness of the product is a quality attribute related to the final selling price.

In TOXDTECT Project, a European consortium seeks to develop a novel solution to tackle the problem.

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.

Fresh MeatImage courtesy of Grant Cochrane/


Identification of target metabolites representative of beef meat spoilage. Among existing indicators of meat spoilage (putrescine, triethylamines, ATP degradation markers, O2, CO2.)


Design of an electronic decision making system (software) for meat quality assessment based on predictive algorithms Implementation and successful testing of the predictive system with real meat in packages.