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Chromatic Technologies develops package indicators to reduce food poisoning

Thermochromic inks manufacturer Chromatic Technologies (CTI) has developed new package indicators known as ‘reveal inks’ in an effort to reduce illness caused by food poisoning.

The package indicators are said to provide ‘return to fridge’ reminders that appear on packages of vulnerable food products such as milk, yogurt, salsa, pickles and ketchup to prevent them from spoilage.

Made by a combination of thermochromic inks, the company’s ‘reveal inks’ can be printed on cans, paper labels, cartons and film.

CTI chief marketing officer Patrick Edson said parents need to understand that how long they can keep their food safe without refrigeration.

"Food companies are understandably hesitant to put warning labels on their packaging, so the problem continues to exist," Edson added.

The ‘return to fridge’ reminder will appear on packaging when the product starts to warm up and the product can become vulnerable to spoilage.

The reminder is off when the temperature is fine and turns on when the package is getting warm.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, if any refrigerated food has been in temperatures above 40° F for more than two hours, it should be thrown away.

The ‘reveal inks’ on milk carton provides consumer with message ‘Drink Milk’ when milk is at a safe temperature but when the carton reaches a target warm temperature of 40° F (4.4° C), a color will disappear revealing a ‘return to fridge’ message.