New food labels could put a halt to food wastage

23rd September 2011 - Fine Cut

New technology could revolutionise the way food products' best before and use by dates are labelled.

Amidst recent news that food labels are going to be simplified to stop people discarding perfectly good food, a new label has been developed which will tell the consumer in real-time just how good the food is, bcs.org reports.

Using a technology known as Oil-Tec, food labels will go through a traffic light system to show their freshness.

When the label is green, the food is at its best. Once it turns amber, the food will need to be used soon as it has passed its 'best-before' but not 'use-by' date. Lastly, if the food is not used, the label will turn red; meaning that it should not be eaten.

The patent-protected Time and Temperature Indicator Label (TTi) is thought to be a simple alternative to misguiding best-before dates that are thought to contribute to the £12 billion worth of food waste every year.

Speaking to packagingeurope.com about the product, an Oil-Tec spokesperson explained: "This label solution combines state-of-the-art technology with a simple visual display that everyone can understand. Millions of tonnes of unnecessary waste will be avoided through the use of intelligent labels that match the life of products.

"Retailers and manufacturers have relied on simple date codes for far too long, because there was no alternative. Now a solution exists that can help consumers to use more of the food they buy."

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