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Spoiled meat detector for use in retail stores

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000197729D
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Described is a method for detecting spoiled meat at the point-of-sale in a retail environment. When a meat product is scanned, air samples pass through a device which detects the presence of ammonia or sulfur-based gasses, which are indicators that meat has become spoiled.

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Spoiled meat detector for use in retail stores

No automated technology currently exists that provides any assurance of the safety of meat products at the point of sale. Meat products, for the purposes of this disclosure, are chilled meat products that are processed and placed into trays, then shrink wrapped and offered for sale at a local grocery store. This disclosure provides means at the point of sale station to automatically detect meat for spoilage.

This is an adaptation of the technology used in airports to scan luggage and detect explosives; it detects the gases emitted by spoiled meat.

With the advancement of airport security screening processes, one of the major breakthroughs has been in the area of Explosive Trace Detectors (or ETDs). These detectors, commonly called "sniffers", are designed to detect very slight airborne traces of organic compounds commonly found in explosives. These units have become portable and are rapidly reducing in size, making them easier to use as they become more accurate.

The fundamental principle of operation of these units is that the detectors within them have a surface coating that is sensitive to the presence of specific organic compounds in the air. When the specified organic compounds are present, a characteristic of the detector is changed, setting off an alarm.

Many, but not all, causes of spoiled meat result in the meat emitting ammonia or a sulfur-based gas. A detector tuned to such gases is embedded at the point-o...