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Posted on March 8, 2021 by  & 

Reducing Food Waste with Freshness Timer Smart Labels

According to the Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP), around 10 million tonnes of food waste is generated every year in the UK, 70% of which was intended for consumption. When disposed of as landfill, food waste produces a large amount of methane as it rots, contributing to global warming. For last week's Food Waste Action Week, Insignia Technologies focussed on keeping food fresher for longer with easy-to-use smart label and ink technologies that can help optimise food storage, prolong shelf life and reduce waste.
David Kilshaw, Founder and CEO at Insignia Technologies, said: "The amount of food that is wasted by consumers is staggering. Every day, 2.2 million slices of ham are thrown away in the UK, many of which will still be edible. Our ink technology can help to provide a solution. Our colour changing smart ink is a simple visual reminder that not only helps prevent people from throwing away food too quickly, but also brings peace of mind to consumers that their food is still safe to eat." For further information see the IDTechEx repoerton Smart and Intelligent Packaging 2020-2030.
The Insignia After Opening Freshness Timer is suitable for a wide range of modified atmosphere products. The unique smart label begins timing the moment a packet is opened. Key Features and Benefits:
  • Provides a visual indication of how long a food package has been opened
  • Helps ensure products are consumed at optimal freshness and within food safety guidelines
  • Can assist in extending consume within guidelines
  • Reduces unnecessary food waste
  • The timing can be calibrated to meet various consume within guidelines
These After Opening timers are only suitable for packaging that contains a CO2 modified atmosphere such as sliced and cooked meats, cheese, bagged salads, raw meat and bread.
The TTI is applied to the inside layer of the lidding film of a modified atmosphere package or bag. When the package is flushed with CO2 the label turns yellow and remains the same colour until the package is opened, releasing the CO2. Once the package is opened the label begins timing, responding with a colour change that can be pre-set in line with consume-within guidance. The technology is temperature sensitive so will change colour faster if the product is stored after opening at temperatures above the recommended guidelines.
The company's Leak Detection Indicators are designed for modified atmosphere products. The leak detection label is applied to the outside of modified atmosphere packaged foods (containing CO2) and gives a visual indication if a leak is present in the packaging. The label is a useful tool for identifying pin hole (very small) leakes and can be used to confirm packaging integrity. The leak detection label is only suitable for certain barrier lidding films and must be tested to confirm its suitability.
Dr Graham Skinner, product development manager at Insignia Technologies, said: "Traditionally our colour changing technology was printed as labels that needed to be applied to the inside of the lidding film. However, this created an additional step for food packaging manufacturers. As a result, we decided to develop our product further by creating smart ink that can be printed into the lidding film in the same way that other branding design is. This makes the process of packaging and manufacturing foods much simpler and easier." He continued: "At Insignia, we care greatly about the environment and climate emergency which is why we have ensured that our smart ink can be printed into lidding film that is recyclable."
Source and top image: Insignia Technologies
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