Oxygen Sensors and their Uses

Brief description
Novel oxygen sensors for use in product packaging for storing products under oxygen-free conditions.

Basic principle
Our novel sensors are based upon a unique synthetic platform technology that enables specific manipulation of oxo-hydroxide materials modified with organic ligands. The sensors consist of redox metal-containing materials that change colour in response to changing oxygen or oxidative environment. These materials may be used as a film, powder, in suspension or dispersed in a hydrated oxygen permeable matrix.
A variety of oxygen sensors with different characteristics have been synthesised, analysed and tested for initial proof of concept.

Key benefits over existing technologies

Clear and obvious colour change (e.g. green to red) for ease of use
Irreversible reaction so even transient contamination detected
Easily incorporated into all types of packaging as a suspension, film, powder or in a semi-solid matrix
Safe and non-toxic; made from food-grade GRAS reagents
Simple, cheap and readily scalable manufacture
Safe, environmentally-friendly disposal
Materials highly tailorable to different colours, oxygen sensitivity, etc
Materials can also act as oxygen removers
Well-protected IP

Applications

Our sensors are ideally suited for use with perishable food products packaged under modified atmosphere, i.e. oxygen free. Oxygen contamination of packaged food can lead to spoilage through enzymatic reactions, oxidation of flavours and nutrients, and growth of aerobic food-spoiling microorganisms. Modified-atmosphere packaging, in which the food package is flushed with an inert gas such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide, reduces oxygen levels and extends the shelf-life of food products. However, there are no simple and cheap ways to ensure that packaging is not compromised as food moves through the supply chain to the consumer.

Intelligent food packaging is a growing market limited by the availability of cheap oxygen monitoring devices. Our sensors fill this market gap and provide confidence that food has not spoiled due to oxygen contamination. As an added benefit, our sensors also act as efficient oxygen removers.

The technology is very versatile and, as such, the sensors can also be tailored for non-food applications where it oxygen levels are to be kept to a minimum.

Patents:
EP 20,120,708,360 issued 2013-12-04   [MORE INFO]
WO 20,121,014,071 issued 2012-08-02   [MORE INFO]

Type of Offer: Sale or Licensing



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