Food label nominated for invention award

21st February 2011 - Fine Cut

An inventor from Edinburgh has come up with a new label that tells you when your food is off.

The warning labels work by a chemical process that changes the colour of the label as times goes on. So, for foods that have to be eaten within six weeks of opening, such as jams and dressings, the label can be used to determine when the jar was opened, and therefore, whether or not the food inside is still good.

As the patent is pending, Pete Higgins from Liberton is reluctant to tell how the device works, but is willing to admit it's with a chemical process.

Mr Higgins told The Scotsman, "On the back of a food jar there's a sticker that says you should use the product within, for example, six weeks. But after you have opened it, how do you remember? A lot of the time people forget and throw it in the bin.

"There is a green strip with a red square at the end, and once it reaches the square it is no longer usable. It is unique in that it is the only item that activates a time device when something is opened."

Peter's invention has got him a place on the shortlist of the John Logie Baird Awards that has a prize of £10,000 for the winning inventor.

"I'm hoping it'll be in the shops by the end of the year," Mr Higgins went on to tell The Scotsman, "I think it might be used on a pharmaceutical product first."

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