Thursday, October 13, 2016

Responsive Packaging to Reduce Food Waste

Food shortage and food waste is a sensitive problem. Over the past few years, the US has wasted close to 31% of all the food it produces, and typically consumers in the U.S. throw away about 80 billion pounds of food each year. Improper or poor food packaging can be the cause of this waste in many situations as the food inside can spoil or discolor if it is not sealed and packaged properly. In an effort to cut back on the amount of food wasted and disposed, intelligent food packaging solutions are being developed which will change the way food is packaged and transported.

How Responsive and Intelligent Packaging Can be a Game Changer:

While still in the research and development stage, the basic concept driving responsive packaging is the ability of the containers in which units of consumables are stored and transported to react to external stimuli.

Food might be affected by five kinds of chemical reactions – oxidation, moisture seeps, enzymatic browning, non-enzymatic browning and microbial activity. Responsive packages are specially created to:

  • Change color if any of these reactions trigger so that the “sniff” test is replaced by real and accurate indicators 
  • Release counter chemicals that inhibit these reactions (like the release of BHT/BHA to act as preservative) to extend shelf life 
  • Give visual indicators for items that must be consumed immediately on opening to remind buyers of the time gone by 

Ideally responsive packaging will increase food safety by using preservatives only, and the goal is to cut back on food waste by meeting all FDA guidelines.

Mark-10 Complements Responsive Packaging:

Mark-10’s force and torque measurement products can assist the responsive packaging industry in multiple ways:
peel testing
90° peel testing of foil seal

  • Our products can help test the ability of the packaging to withstand the pressure of containers that might be stacked in transit to ensure that bursting at the seams and squashing do not damage the edible items inside.
  • Our products can be used by the manufacturers of responsive packaging to develop products that maintain integrity yet can be easily opened by consumers so that the intelligent properties of the cartons, packets and bottles are not accidentally compromised because of ripping and tugging. 

At Mark-10 we have been designing and manufacturing force and torque measurement products for over 35 years. Our products help new and innovative technologies go through the testing process to make sure they are ready for release. To learn more about how our products can help the packaging and many other industries contact us.