Meat-lovers rejoice: a team from Manchester University has gone public with their algorithms for detecting meat contamination with an infrared beam:
Professor Roy Goodacre, Dr David Ellis and a team of researchers within the School of Chemistry, have developed the technique using infrared light which successfully spots chicken and beef contaminated with dangerous bacteria, leading to the hope that it will increase the safety of processed foods across the industry.
“Modern food processing is highly automated and efficient, but the way safety inspectors sample the products has hardly changed in half a century,” says Dr Ellis. “At present, more than 40 different methods are available to detect and measure bacteria growing in meats. However, even the most rapid of these takes several hours, so results are always retrospective, which means that infected meat could get into the food chain.”
“We believe that our infrared equipment can be built into production lines, it doesn’t involve injecting chemicals or touching the food itself, it’s relatively cheap, results are available in seconds and can be read by a machine,” says Dr Ellis. “This makes it ideal for on-line meat inspection.”
More from Dr. Goodacre’s website