Detect meat spoilage with your smartphone

New technology uses sensors within packaging to convey spoilage statistics to your smartphone within seconds
calendar icon 11 July 2018
clock icon 2 minute read

Researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, and Nanjing University, China, have developed highly-sensitive gas sensors that interact with smartphones through near-field communication – a technology that has allowed smartphones to perform sensory functions for the benefit of human health.

The gas sensor, a nanostructured conductive polymer-based technology, can detect extremely low levels of ammonia, putrescine and cadaverine – biogenic amines indicative of meat spoilage.

The near-field communication labelling technology allows this information to be delivered to a smartphone immediately upon requesting the information, allowing the consumer to determine whether the meat is safe to eat or not.

During the study, the meats were stored for 24 hours at 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and the researchers found that the gas sensors successfully detected significant amounts of biogenic amines.

It is hoped that this technology can provide consumers more confidence when purchasing meat products as to the quality and potential health concerns should that product be rancid or unsafe.

The study

Zhong Ma, Ping Chen, Wen Cheng, Kun Yan, Lijia Pan, Yi Shi, and Guihua Yu (2018). Highly Sensitive, Printable Nanostructured Conductive Polymer Wireless Sensor for Food Spoilage Detection. Nano Letters, 18 (7):4570-4575

Read the full abstract here

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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