A Sensor-Embedded Smart Carton for the Real-Time Monitoring of Perishable Foods' Lifetime

Publication Name

2022 7th International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Technologies, SpliTech 2022


With the current focus on sustainability and food safety, we are witnessing increasing demand for food freshness monitoring and traceability. This requirement is of critical importance for perishable food that has a short shelf-life and is easily impacted by environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Several approaches have been proposed in the literature for the monitoring of perishable food. Typically relying on RFIDs, chemical, and microbiological sensors, those approaches aim at giving an indication about the freshness level of various perishable food items and alert when a carton has spoiled. Such approaches can be costly due to their requirement of sophisticated settings and equipment, in addition to focusing on a coarse-grained classification of whether a carton has perished or not. In this work, we propose an affordable sensor-embedded carton that is able to accurately detect the spoilage of even a single item of food in real-time, to enable timely intervention and prevent contamination of the rest of the items. To design this smart carton, we relied on gas diffusion simulations that informed the optimal placement and number of sensors required. Furthermore, a warehouse architecture encompassing smart cartons, smart pallets, and an analytics server is proposed as a large-scale food monitoring approach. Such an approach opens the door for accurate and real-time monitoring of perishable food facilitates inventory management and minimizes food safety and waste concerns.

Open Access Status

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