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Non-invasive determination of product freshness and package contamination

Many products with limited shelf lives (e.g., food products) are stored in packages.  These products can become contaminated or otherwise spoiled during the packaging process, or due to the length of time the product has been packaged and the environment it has been stored in.  Conventional techniques to examine the product in a package are often destructive and thus can only be used for random sampling.  Using surface enhanced raman spectroscopy and a sensor substrate coupled to a package, this invention allows for the non-invasive determination of product characteristics in a package.  It can also be used to obtain information about the environment within a package to ensure that it is not contaminated.  

Intellectual Property Status: U.S. Patent(s) Issued: US8294891B2