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Work Package 3

Design, develop and model TTI systems suitable for meat safety monitoring

Leader : P1
Partners Responsible: P1 


The Objectives of this Workpackage are:
  • To develop, model and apply TTI devices that have the required response characteristics and accuracy to serve as monitors of temperature history and controllers of quality state and microbiological safety of meat products. Developed TTI should cover all studied pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. Combined multiple TTI systems will be studied and tuned to achieve the kinetic requirements. The ultimate goal is to have “active labels” that indicate individual product safety and quality.

  • To provide methodologies for easy and accurate downloading of TTI response
Methodology And Study Materials

Sub-workpackage 3.1 : Screen and validate existing TTI and design ,develop and model new TTI systems for monitoring meat safety

Testing and kinetic modeling will be based on measurements, at appropriate time intervals of the response of multiple TTI samples, isothermally stored in controlled cabinets at temperatures from 0 to 15°C, (as for pathogens in WP1). Response will be measured visually and instrumentally. Response models will be assessed against measured values at dynamic, variable temperature conditions. The same modelling and data analysis approach as in WP1 will be followed. Reproducibility will also be assessed statistically. Based on the state of the art knowledge on pathogen growth and the evolving data from WP1, their potential and limitations as meat safety quality indicators will be evaluated. .This evaluation will be used as an additional guide for the further development and optimization of prototype TTIs. The aimed output of this Sub-workpackage of WP3 is the development, validation and assessment of accurate systems matching as close as possible the kinetics of pathogens in the meat products.

Sub-workpackage 3.2 : Optimize TTI and develop multiple signal full history TTI

TTIs developed in Sub-workpackage 3.1 will be optimized from a performance and cost point of view. For example alternative configurations of enzymatic TTIs will be designed and tested. The goal will be to improve accuracy and reproducibility of response, stability before use, ease of application, ease of signal reading (see also Sub-workpackage 3.3) and cost. This could be achieved through design of systems that require smaller amounts of enzyme and substrate, for example in a configuration where instead of the liquid in mini-pouch form they will be immobilized on a solid absorbent mattrix.

Since it is may not be possible or practical to have a single suitable TTI that mimics exactly the behaviour of a particular target meat pathogen a more developed approach will be to use a combination of multiple signal full history TTI.

The mathematical algorithm for processing the multiple signal and the partial history TTI will be developed and evaluated. It will further be built in a user friendly software that will translate the input TTI response to quality status and risk level based on the kinetic characteristics of the TTI and the product.

Sub-workpackage 3.3 : Assess and develop accurate and practical methodologies/equipment for TTI response data download for chill chain control

One practical aspect of TTI application, is the need for practical and accurate means for reading TTI response. Within this task the specifications of a simpler, cost effective measuring device will be developed and a prototype will be designed and built. Measurements at the full spectrum with reflectance spectrometers have indicated that it might be possible to isolate single frequencies that correlate well with the total colour change. If such frequencies can be verified low cost optical densitometers could be a potential direction for a measuring device development.

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