Assessment of Performance of the Industrial Process of Bulk Vacuum Packaging of Raw Meat with Nondestructive Optical Oxygen Sensing Systems

Sensors (Basel). 2018 May 2;18(5):1395. doi: 10.3390/s18051395.


The commercially-available optical oxygen-sensing system Optech-O₂ Platinum was applied to nondestructively assess the in situ performance of bulk, vacuum-packaged raw beef in three ~300 kg containers. Twenty sensors were attached to the inner surface of the standard bin-contained laminate bag (10 on the front and back sides), such that after filling with meat and sealing under vacuum, the sensors were accessible for optical interrogation with the external reader device. After filling and sealing each bag, the sensors were measured repetitively and nondestructively over a 15-day storage period at 1 °C, thus tracking residual oxygen distribution in the bag and changes during storage. The sensors revealed a number of unidentified meat quality and processing issues, and helped to improve the packaging process by pouring flakes of dry ice into the bag. Sensor utility in mapping the distribution of residual O₂ in sealed bulk containers and optimising and improving the packaging process, including handling and storage of bulk vacuum-packaged meat bins, was evident.

Keywords: QC/QA; bulk vacuum packaging; food safety and process optimisation; nondestructive assessment; packaged raw meat; phosphorescent oxygen sensor; residual oxygen.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Food Packaging / methods*
  • Meat*
  • Oxygen / analysis*
  • Vacuum*


  • Oxygen