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‘Smart label’ tracks packaged food freshness

A new ‘smart label’ is activated when a pack is opened and triggers a timer that changes colour as the food within loses freshness – so consumers can see at a glance when it is out of date.

A new ‘smart label’ is activated when a pack is opened and triggers a timer that changes colour as the food within loses freshness – so consumers can see at a glance when it is out of date.

UK-based Insignia Technologies unveiled its patented Embedded Timer, which can be "easily incorporated into any film lid", at the recent Packaging Innovations Conference in Birmingham. The product has already generated interest from major supermarket chains in UK, France and USA, and Insignia is now looking to roll it out in food packaging technology in these key regions during 2013.

Insignia Technologies founding director Erik Smyth says: "This is all about ensuring quality and freshness for the consumer while preventing food from going to waste. People open a packet of meat or cheese, forget how long it’s been open, and consequently may not take the risk of eating it. Our new packaging will remove this uncertainty."

Stephen Currie, the company’s COO, adds: "This is an eight billion dollar industry and our objective will be to achieve sustainable growth over the next five years, by capturing an increasing share of this market, both domestically and abroad."

Insignia is also developing indicator products suitable for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals packaging, which it expects to roll out "within the next year".

www.insigniatechnologies.com