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SMAS International Workshop

"Quality Management of the
Chill Chain"

16 December 2005

Training Center of the National Bank of Greece
Poseidonos Avenue 41-43, 16675, Glyfada, Athens, Greece

SMAS is the short title for “Development and Application of a Safety Monitoring and Assurance System for Chilled Meat Products” action project, coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and running from 2003-2006. It is funded by the European Commission under the key action of Food, Nutrition and Health of the “Quality of Life and management of living resources” thematic programme, and the “Quality monitoring and traceability throughout the food chain” thematic priority, project number QLK1-2002-02545.

7 Institutes/companies are working on the 6 main interrelating workpackages of SMAS project. The aim of this research project is to develop reliable and practical Time Temperature Integrators (TTI) systems and establish their applicability as safety monitors of meat products from manufacture to consumption.

A Safety Monitoring and Assurance System (SMAS) for meat products will be developed. SMAS integrates kinetic models for dominant meat pathogens and spoilage bacteria, risk assessment techniques and the capacity to monitor single product temperature history with Time Temperature Integrators (TTI), into an effective chill chain decision and management tool. TTI of high accuracy and suitable design for safety monitoring will be developed and optimised. Models will be refined for reliable prediction of meat safety and spoilage.

SMAS will be validated in real conditions and provide the meat sector the ability to control its weak link, the chill chain, and deliver to the consumer's table safe meat products of high hygienic quality. It will satisfy the consumer that state-of-the-art methods and technology can guarantee him low risk-high quality meat products and thus help restore the image and increase competitiveness of the EU meat sector.

The expected overall result of the application of the SMAS chill chain management system can be visualized by the narrowing of the distribution of the probability of illness and the reduction or elimination of unacceptable products from quality point of view at the time of consumption.

The blue line shows the significant reduction of illness probability (fig a) and the quality improvement of chilled meat products (fig b) when SMAS system is applied

EC FIFTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME - Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources - Project QLK1-2002-02545