Food Quality Sensor International, Inc. (FQSI), the food technology company behind the freshQ labelling system for packaged meat, has developed technology which will allow consumers to measure the freshness of meat and poultry at home.

The SensorfreshQ system is an electronic sensing instrument that measures food-borne bacteria at the parts per billion level, says FQSI.

The unit is about the size of an electronic toothbrush, and works by measuring the concentration of airborne bacterial by-products given off into the air right above uncooked beef, poultry, pork, and lamb. In less than a minute, SensorfreshQ’s electromechanical sampling system takes over 2,000 sensor readings. Its internal computer chip analyses the readings through a series of complex algorithms to determine the level bacterial colonies present.

A simple read-out gives consumers the information they require. A green light means the meat or poultry is fresh;  a yellow light indicates that it is still fresh enough to eat, but should be consumed within two days; while a red light means freshness is not assured.

FQSI plans to launch SensorfreshQ in November through The Sharper Image innovations retailer.  It will be sold through The Sharper Image retail stores, catalogues and online.