Scotland-based sensing technologies developer Insignia Technologies has launched a new smart label for food packaging.
The new Embedded Timer label, which can be incorporated into any film lid, is activated when a packet is opened.
As the food within loses freshness, the label triggers a timer that changes colour.
With an estimated 18 million tonnes of edible food sent to landfill in the UK annually, the company expects the new packaging design to help cut down the environmental and economic impact associated with wasted food.
Insignia Technologies founding director Erik Smyth said the technology development partnership with the University of Strathclyde and the funding support of Scottish Enterprise has played a role in the company bringing the solution to the market place.
"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," Smyth said.
The product is claimed to ensure quality and freshness for the consumer as it also prevents food from going to waste.
Embedded Timer label range is expected to help minimise unnecessary food waste, while also making a positive contribution to shopper confidence in certain food categories.
The company, which plans to launch its new label for food packaging in key regions of the UK, France and the US during 2013, is also in the process of developing indicator products that are suitable for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals packaging, with roll-out expected within 2014.
Launched in August 2012, Insignia Technologies is the result of a merger between the intelligent inks business Insigniapack and a spin-out company from the University of Strathclyde, Novas Technologies.