, Volume 93, Issue 2-3, pp 619-625
Date: 30 Sep 2008

Food monitoring based on diode laser gas spectroscopy

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Food is frequently packed in a controlled environment of gas, in order to extend shelf life. It is of great importance to be able to monitor the status of the packed food to ensure quality. We demonstrate a technique to monitor the gas inside packages non-intrusively by using a laser spectroscopic method in scattering solid materials. The technique named GASMAS (GAs in Scattering Media Absorption Spectroscopy) is based on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy and relies on the fact that free gas inside solid materials absorbs much sharper spectrally than the bulk material. Results from time dependent measurements of molecular oxygen and water vapour in packages of minced meat, bake-off bread, and the headspace of a milk carton are presented. We show that the technique allows gas measurements inside the food through the package, and assessment of the integrity of the package.