New food label short-listed for invention award

13th June 2011 - Fine Cut

A Scottish man has been nominated for an inventing award following the creation of clear 'use by' product labels, reports news.scotsman.com.

Back in February, Pete Higgins revealed his clever UWI label, which aims to more easily indicate when food is unsafe to eat.

He hopes that it will also result in a reduction of food waste, cost savings and the prevention of food-related illness.

Now, Mr Higgins' invention has been short-listed for a £50,000 inventing award in the Barclay's 'Take One Small Step' competition. It is up to the public to vote for his entry on the bank's website.

He commented on the news, telling Deadline: "The reality is that it takes a substantial amount of money to get something like this off the drawing board and into mass production.

"I am now looking for support from the Scottish public to help UWI Label win this prize, because it could be the final element in ensuring an entirely Scottish invention gets on to the global stage."

Mr Higgins hopes the judges will realise not only the worth of his creation in terms of food labelling but that the technology behind his invention, developed with help from scientists at Heriot-Watt University, could be expanded into other areas.

The UWI label works on a simple premise: it reacts once the food packaging has been opened and provides a visual warning as to the safety of the product which cannot be misunderstood. The label will be green when the food is initially opened, then counts down to a red warning to show the product is unsafe.

"Everyone who sees the UWI Label instantly understand it and asks why something like this doesn't already exist," Mr Higgins concluded.

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