Virginia-based Insignia Technology to make color-changing label commercially available in mid-2013; label intended for cold meats, cheeses and changes color as freshness of food diminishes, reacts to external influences like oxygen

LOS ANGELES , November 12, 2012 () –

Insignia Technology Services LLC’s new color-changing label for cold meats and cheeses is slated to be commercially launched by May 2013, said a company top executive, reported Food Production Daily on Nov. 12.

The label, which is intended to help keep food safe, begins to change color when the package is opened and as freshness diminishes. The color is influenced by external factors like oxygen, ultraviolet light and humidity levels.

Trials are set for early next year at certain supermarkets in the U.K., said Stephen Currie, CEO of Insignia Technology, Food Production Daily reported. The company is headquartered in Newport News, Virginia.

The Novas Embedded Label is put inside a film lid. It activates when the packaging is open and changes color as the food loses freshness. The first generation of Novas Embedded Labels starts as light yellow and turns dark purple as carbon dioxide (CO2) is activated.

The technology was developed in 2010 at the University of Strathclyde, reported Food Production Daily.

Labels are made from an Insignia Technologies film and then incorporated into the packaging when the top film is produced. This “patented integration” process is more cost-effective for the retailer, said Currie.

After launching in the U.K., the company intends to sell worldwide. Three retailers are interested in the U.S., and inquiries also have come from France and Germany, which is the order in which the product will be rolled out, said Currie, Food Production Daily reported.

The labels can work with anything containing CO2 and cater to the demand for modified atmospheric packaging (MAP). Insignia Technologies has other products, including two intended to keep foods safe and cut food waste.

Waste Watch Food Fresh indicators are used at home to keep track of food freshness, while the Novas CO2 Indicator Pigment is used in plastic packaging and changes color when MAP packaging is damaged, reported Food Production Daily.

The company was started up in August 2012 by a merger of intelligent inks business Insigniapack and Novas Technologies, a spin off from the University of Strathclyde that resulted from a successful project on smart plastics for food packaging.

Novas Technologies focuses on smart pigment technology, while Insigniapack has developed intelligent inks to use as sensors in food packaging, Food Production Daily reported.

The primary source of this article is Food Production Daily, Montpelier, France, on Nov. 12, 2012.


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