ConTag, university partner to monitor oysters

A tech firm based in Hobart, Australia is collaborating with the University of Tasmania to develop a better way to monitor temperature during oyster shipments.

The company, ConTag Systems, has produced a time-based temperature sensor, which will be used to monitor changes in temperature during a shipment’s journey. The sensors are small enough to be mailed back to ConTag for analysis of the data, which can then help determine freshness of the shipment.

The system is based on the oyster refrigeration index (ORI), an algorithm developed by the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Center. The university participated in developing the ORI, and has granted ConTag a license to use it as part of its analysis.

“This license is just one example of UTAS’ commitment to create impact from the technologies we develop,” said Darren Cundy, director of business development and commercialization at the university. “By partnering with private industry we create a path to market where our research innovations can create community benefit.”

The sensor is the first step in a more ambitious plan to create a network of sensors that can transmit data.

”For now, the technology is principally providing operators with confidence that their produce is being shipped under the right conditions,” said Michael Jarvis, director of ConTag. “However that’s just first generation. When we release our GPS-enabled version we will have the ability to analyze near real-time data, so that retailers can make evidence-based decisions about the oysters they are putting on their shelves.”


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