The sensor was developed by a team led by researchers from Nanjing University and University of Texas-Austin in China, which is integrated into a small NFC (near range wireless communication) tag. The sensor itself is made of conductive polymers from nanostructures and can detect compounds known as BAs, which cause the unpleasant smell of meat.
In laboratory tests, a sensor tag is placed next to the raw meat block and then placed for 24 hours at the temperature of 86 F (30 C). These sensors can then detect enough biogenic amines, which are enough to show deterioration, but not necessarily strong enough to be smelled by human nose. When this is done, the sensor automatically opens the NFC tag to allow them to wireless transmit alerts to applications on smartphones that are within 4 inches (10 centimeters) of meat.Researchers now hope that the commercialized version of the technology can be packaged with raw meat, allowing food dealers and consumers to know if they are deteriorating only by approaching the cell phone.