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Smart labels that say ‘Don’t eat me’

April 7, 2006

Smart labels that say ‘Don’t eat me’
There's just room for yet another smart label contender. This one is a patented microbiological freshness indicator named Traceo, developed by Cryolog in France. The transparent label includes a time/temperature integrator that allows retailers and consumers to check food freshness at a glance. It can also be used in the health market, for example monitoring vaccines and blood collection bags.
Traceo is programmed according to a preset tracing criteria and is applied directly over a bar code. Made up of a gel and microorganisms, it turns opaque when the product is no longer fit for consumption, either after excessive temperature or if storage exceeds an expiration date. When the label turns opaque, the bar code can no longer be read or scanned.
Cryolog says traceability is becoming generalized. The aim is to keep track of packaged foodstuffs from the moment of manufacture to the moment they are consumed. The label therefore warns of a breakage in the cold chain, so heading off the risk of public health problems. Cryolog cites the recent spate of global food scares that have made consumers increasingly vigilant about the quality of perishable food