Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Hand held spectrophotometer checks meat and fish quality in the supply chain

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Hand held spectrophotometer checks meat and fish quality in the supply chain
New hand held spectrophotometer could be used to provide insights into meat and fish product quality deterioration in the supply chain.
In Use – Commercially available

Product Waste Reduction, Other

Product Categories

Relevant Materials
Not Applicable

Relevant Packaging Formats
Not Applicable

Supply Chain Phase
Filling, Harvesting, Processing


A company specialising in measuring colours has developed a hand held instrument (spectrophotometer)  which enables operators to establish if meat and fish products are exhibiting the correct colour range.  As consumers associate the 'correct' color with freshness and quality, food companies count on consistent and recurring spectral data which enhance the quality control process. Better understanding of product quality in the supply chain can help to reduce food waste generated through real or perceived product quality deterioration.
The instrument analyses the colour of the product and instantly determines if the colouration meets pre-set tollerances.  The instrument then gives the operator an instant visual prompt (PASS/FAIL).  This enables quick decision making as to whether the product is safe to use.  This is an important aid to determining whther fish and meat is fit for consumption as previously such decisions may have been subjective and open to interpretation.
The instrument is lightweight and compact so it can be taken wherever it is needed on the plant floor, the production line, the warehouse or outdoors. There is no need to take samples to the lab. MiniScan The readout gives access to instant, accurate data anywhere and the measurements can be stored in memory for later printout or download to a PC.
HunterLab of the USA designed and developed the new spectrophotometer MiniScan EZ 45/0 LAV.
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The greatest potential benefit of this technology is in providing an easy to use, hand held measuring device which can determine whether meat or fish meets pre-set colouration requirements for fresh product.  Although this in itself does not directly prevent product deterioration and quality issues (real or perceived), improved knowledge of product quality and product quality changes at various points in the supply chain, supported by real data, can enable improved supply chain management to reduce product losses.

Intellectual Property

The MiniScan® EZ  Spectrophotometer has been designed developed and trademarked by Hunter Laboratories of the USA.

Consultant View

The underlying rationale for developing this technology is to improve food safety in the supply chain. However, the device has the potential to deliver real data demonstrating where changes in product quality occur in the supply chain. Improved data and better understanding of the causes for product spoilage (such as lack of temperature control) can help to improve supply chain management and thereby reduce product wastage.
Reviewers interested in this concept should also look at other supply chain monitoring technologies. Try searching the REID database using serrch terms such as "Monitoring", "Data capture" and "Indicators".

Contacts and Further Information

Hunter Associates Laboratory, Inc,
11491 Sunset Hills Road
Reston, Virginia 20190-5280
Tel: 001 703-471-6870

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