As a tool for the <i>in situ</i> characterization of meat quality, a hand-held Raman sensor head using an excitation wavelength of 671 nm was developed. A microsystem-based external cavity diode laser module was integrated into the sensor head and attached to a Raman probe, which is equipped with lens optics for excitation and signal collection as well as a Raman filter stage for Rayleigh rejection. The Raman signal was guided by an optical fiber to the detection unit, which was in the initial phase a laboratory spectrometer with a charge-coupled device (CCD) detector. The laser and the sensor head were characterized in terms of stability and performance for <i>in situ</i> Raman investigations. Raman spectra of meat were obtained with 35 mW within 5 seconds or less, ensuring short measuring times for the hand-held device. In a series of measurements with raw and packaged pork meat, the Raman sensor head was shown to detect microbial spoilage on the meat surface, even through the packaging foil.
Vol. 5, Iss. 12 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Heinar Schmidt, Kay Sowoidnich, and Heinz-Detlef Kronfeldt, "A Prototype Hand-Held Raman Sensor for the in Situ Characterization of Meat Quality," Appl. Spectrosc. 64, 888-894 (2010)