Food Vision 2015

Innovative food packaging to end sell-by-date labels

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Technology such as the Smart Knife could kill off sell-by-date labels
Technology such as the Smart Knife could kill off sell-by-date labels

Related tags: Label, Food and drink, Nutrition

Innovative new food and drink packaging could kill off conventional ‘sell-by-date’ labels, according to innovation research firm Stylus.

Technology currently being designed could help consumers become better informed and know when food is safe to eat, Stylus’s head of food, beverage and hospitality Mandy Saven told the Food Vision conference on March 19.

Saven told FoodManufacture.co.uk at the event that it could help prevent food and packaging waste and foodborne illnesses.

Innovations in packaging could provide “real time guides to how fresh your food is and could be more useful and up to date” ​than traditional stickers, she told this site.

‘Better informed’

“If it’s more accurate and more immediate as well you could be better informed on what you’re going to cook and what you’re going to prepare. You could constantly keep track on an item and when is the best time to consume it.”

Consumers were likely to buy into innovative new packaging and tools to judge the freshness of food because of the excitement they would gain from the process, Saven claimed.

“It has a fun factor and theatricality about it – it’s not only about preparing your food but giving a deeper knowledge of what’s inside it. It is also quite exciting to be able to track the lifecycle of food yourself.”

Innovative technology includes Bump Mark, a gelatine package that is the brain child of student Solveiga Pakstaite and is able to tell you the exact condition of food by running your finger over the label. The package decays with in line with the meats freshness, if it’s smooth, it’s safe to eat, but if it’s bumpy it is out of date.

Saven also said laser tattooing of fruit and vegetables could replace traditional stickers. Marks & Spencer has recently finished a trial of tattooed fruit and veg that is said to have “gone well”,​ Saven revealed.

Freshness and infection

Eurolux Design Lab is working on a ‘Smart Knife’ that provides information on freshness and bacteria infection of food materials and food, and nutrients at a glance.   

Saven said these new tools were still in their pilot stages and were quite far off being widely available.

Other technology in development could enable food and drink products to be tracked throughout the supply chain, she added.

Food Vision was staged in Cannes, France by Food Manufacture’s publisher William Reed Business Media.

Look out for videos, text articles and photogalleries from the event.  

Related topics: Packaging materials

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