Objectives

SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES

Identification of target metabolites representative of beef meat spoilage. Among existing indicators of meat spoilage (putrescine, triethylamines, ATP degradation markers, O2, CO2.) At least 3 representative classes or families of volatile organic compounds will be selected for further development of the sensors. (Each sensor sensitive to one class). The sum of their behaviour will be analysed statistically and their response correlated with the known microorganism population. The selected indicators have to be detected at concentrations of microorganisms below 10 Colony Forming Units (cfu) per gram (gr). Concentration limits of the selected metabolites within the safety microbiological range will be determined.

Deeper understanding and accuracy optimization of existing sensing devices and selection of most suitable sensing strategy Identification of innovative recognition and transduction systems for innovative low cost gas sensing using printed technology. These systems will be able to recognize the target analytes determined in WP1 and WP2 within the safety threshold and dynamic range as determined. 

Multilayer film design & materials compatibility study. Understanding compatibility and adhesion between layers in lamination processes. Selection of suitable polymeric layers and Polyurethane/Polyethylene adhesives. One layer will be suitable for the imprinted technology (sensors and conductive ink). The second layer will have specific permeability for the diffusion of the analytes as determined.

Study and develop a cost-effective production technology for functional multilayer films. Election of one film production technique that will keep the cost of total film < 10 €/Kg. The two options studied are:

  • electronics and sensors printed directly on the upper film;
  • full electronics and sensors printed on a separate film patch that will be further integrated in the package.

 TECHNOLOGICAL OBJECTIVES

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. The algorithms will achieve an accurate performance, achieving prediction results within a confidence interval of +/- 0.1 in unknown validation meat data.

 Development of an innovative sensor array printed in the film material. Sensor array development onto flexible substrates with a sensing technology compatible with printing Technology. Indirect detection of end product spoilage through detecting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The developed array of sensors will measure critical spoilage product (VOCs) quantity with a:

  • Minimum detection limits of VOCs corresponding to 10cfu/gr bacteriological concentration.
  • Oxygen and Modified Atmosphere Packages (MAP) gases detection limits from 0.01-0.05kPa of partial pressure (corresponding to an equivalent concentration of 0.01% and 0.05%)
  • Multilayer film Integration of the two film layers functionalized with the printed sensors:
  • It´ll be complying with the food packaging regulations EN1186, EN13130, EU 2002/72.
  • The cost of functionalized film will be < 9 €/Kg.
  • Development of a suitable reading device Optimal interface between embedded sensors and external reading device. Values obtained from the reading device will match 95% with the values read directly from the embedded sensors.

SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES

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

TECHNOLOGICAL OBJECTIVES

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.