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Automated optical system for oxgen measurement in modified atmosphere packaging

The aim of the project is to develop automated optical system for measurement of oxygen levels in modified atmosphere packaging of products, which will enable precise and rapid measurements of oxygen, saving the producers in various industries cost and time.

The aim of this project is to develop the first automated system for measuring oxygen levels in different products such as foodstuffs and pharmaceutical products, which have to be packed in a modified atmosphere. The presence of oxygen in certain products like food, beverages and pharmaceutical products can affect their microbial and physico-chemical stability. One approach that solves this problem is preservation of such products with the modified packaging atmosphere (MAP) technology. MAP technology involves replacing the air in a packed product by introducing different gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2) and thus lowering the oxygen (O2) content. In order to maintain an adequate quality control over products that are packed in MAP, the O2 levels need to be accurrately determined for a specific product and monitored through the whole production period. The O2 measurements with current measurement techniques are still performed manually, which makes them highly time-consuming and expensive due to frequent human related errors. In addition, these systems involve the electrochemical type of sensors for the detection of O2 concentration in the sample, which is related to a high measurement uncertainty. These limitations mostly affect manufacturers of food and pharmaceutical products since incorrect measurements result in inadequate packaging quality of their large batches and high costs of remedying these defects, loss of sales revenue and damage to their reputation and brand. Based on these facts and the demands from pharmaceutical and food industries, there is an urgent need for the development of an improved automated measurement system that would allow faster and more accurrate O2 measurements. The development of our new product answers to these needs and overcomes the limitations of current measurement devices. It represents the system with an integrated optical sensor, which is faster and more accurrate than conventional electrochemical system for O2 measurement. Furthermore, the implementation of optical sensor for O2 measurement in our product enabled the automatization of the whole system, which cannot be applied in the case of electrochemical sensor. Therefore, the new system represents the above state-of-the art technology since it represents the first O2 measurement system, which will enable the automated sampling of various types of products and their shapes.
Acronym: 
As-O2
Project ID: 
13 022
Start date: 
01-01-2019
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 030 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Optical Technology related to measurements
Market Area: 
Industrial measurement and sensing equipment

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.