August 5, 2009
Now a sensor can check if your pork or pineapple is ripe enough
Thank God for sensors. All these sensors are making life so much easier for the procrastinator that it won’t be too long before you become a fat blob like the ones in Wall-E. A new system based on metal oxide sensors could check the safety and quality of foods reliably, quickly and economically like how ripe a pineapple really is. The system has been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institutes for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Schmallenberg and for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM in Freiburg. It checks gas emissions on-line – directly in the warehouse for instance.
Pineapples aren’t the only things that are under the microscope. Even pork is. The researchers are also investigating whether the equipment could be used to test pork. The male pig produces hormones and certain odorous substances necessary for reproduction. What the female pig finds attractive, however, smells anything but pleasant to human noses. It’s true that most pigs are slaughtered well before sexual maturity – before any odorous substances have formed in the majority of pigs. As there is the risk, however, that some boars could produce odorous substances prematurely, all boars are castrated when they are young piglets. Castration may not be necessary in the future if the pork could be tested on-line before it is packaged. I am not having lunch today.