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Basic Idea

Meat products are highly perishable foods which, unless correctly stored, processed, packaged and distributed, spoil quickly and may potentially become unsafe due to microbial growth. Systematic management of meat product safety via HACCP includes raw material selection, control of conditions during processing and distribution. The latter is the weaker link of the system. Conditions during transportation and at the retail level are out of manufacturer’s direct control and often deviate from specifications. Application of an optimized quality and safety assurance system for the chilled distribution of fresh meat and meat products requires continuous monitoring and control of storage conditions, from production to consumption.

Time Temperature Integrators (TTI) allow such control down to product unit level. TTI can show an easily measurable, time and temperature dependent change that cumulatively reflects the time-temperature history of the food product. The state of the TTI technology and of the scientific approach with regards the quantitative study of safety risk in foods allows the undertaking of the next important step i.e. the study and development of a TTI based management system that will assure both safety and quality in the meat chill chain.

EC FIFTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME - Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources - Project QLK1-2002-02545