Pasteur Sensor Tag predicts the actual shelf life of chilled foods

A flexible low-cost wireless sensor for monitoring product quality throughout the cold chain.

An international consortium of 16 high-tech and agri-food parties led by NXP Semiconductors collaborated in what was known as the Pasteur Project; with the goal of developing a wireless sensor platform capable of monitoring the conditions under which perishables are stored and distributed.

An interesting feature of the Pasteur tag is the integration of the performance advantages of conventional silicon electronics with the low-cost and form factor capabilities of printed electronics. The tag incorporates a sensor chip interfaced with an RFID chip and a microcontroller, all produced by NXP Semiconductors. The functionality of the sensor chip includes measuring temperature, relative humidity, and light.

The main motivation for the research was to provide users with a flexible and low-cost platform to predict the expiration date of specific goods, based on the history of conditions in which the item was stored. In order to accomplish this, one of the consortium partners, Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research, developed detailed quality evolution models for various products, such as strawberries, avocados  and fresh-cut roses.