The days of sniffing your milk bottle before you pour could soon be over as Arla begins consumer testing of a new Indicator which, when added to product packaging could tell the consumer when the product is beginning to expire.
The packaging innovation, developed by UK start-up company Mimica provides a tactile indication of food spoilage. When the label is smooth – the food is fresh, when bumps can be felt on the label – it is no longer safe to eat. The indicators will make it easier for consumers to know when products are no longer safe to eat based on the product quality, rather than just a date code.
Tomas Pietrangeli, Managing Director for Arla Foods UK comments, “We’re hoping that consumer research will suggest this should go to a wider trial. Mimica’s indicators are truly innovative and could not only help reduce food waste but also help those with visual impairments identify, through touch, when food is no longer safe to eat.”
The indicator, known as Mimica Touch works by reacting to changes in the packaged food and to temperature changes. These result in a breakdown of the gelatine layer which turns the surface from smooth to bumpy.
Solveiga Pakštaitė, Founder and Director of Mimica comments, "We are really excited to be working so closely with a highly innovative organisation like Arla to bring accurate food spoilage information to consumers to provide peace of mind and the confidence to use food for longer. It's important to Mimica that we work with companies that share our social values and vision."
In the coming months Arla Foods and Mimica will research consumer reaction to the product before deciding whether to take the product trials further.