The blue dot - help with meat lust?

No, there is no extra work for the consumer with the blue dot. So we do not have to collect more. It is rather a valuable additional information on the expiration date. Scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Bayreuth have developed an indicator that shows how fresh packaged meat really is. A discoloration of the blue dot warns of potentially corrupted products. The researchers want to ensure more safety in the refrigerated shelves.

When the thermometers rise to record highs, salmonella and other microorganisms are in high season - and that is a challenge for the food industry. But can consumers rely on the functioning of the so-called "cold chain"? The date of minimum durability on packaged fresh meat or sealed sausage products is only reliable if the required low temperatures from the slaughterhouse to the supermarket refrigerated rack have actually been met.

Indicator point watches over fresh meat

The heart of "intelligent" meat packaging of the future will be a novel time-temperature indicator (TTI) developed by the Bayreuth scientists. It is a platelet colored with a special dye, which turns blue under UV irradiation and then decolorizes again depending on time and temperature. The indicator is surrounded by a ring of comparative colors for easy reading. "Charging" could make him a UV lamp when packing the goods.

In elaborate series of tests, the Bonn working group has appointed Professor Dr. Ing. Brigitte Petersen examines how long meat remains edible at different temperatures. These data were then compared to the behavior of the blue TTI. There were clear parallels in spoiling and decolorizing. The decolorization of the new freshness indicator occurs within a similar period of time, in which meat also spoils: the warmer the faster.

Non-manipulable helper

"In practical tests with poultry and pork, we have shown that the TTI works reliably, " says Professor Petersen, summing up the previous research results. Now the scientists want to put the findings into practice and have established contact with partners in the economy. These are intended to further develop the TTI into a marketable product. The chances are not bad: In contrast to previous TTI products, the "Blue Dot" costs only a few cents apiece, can not be manipulated once activated and is much easier to handle. Source: University of Bonn

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