We are Insignia Technologies. We believe in using science and technology to solve one of the biggest problems households face every day – food waste. We have developed a range of colour changing labels with a variety of applications in food packaging and storage.
Avoidable food waste costs the average UK household £470 a year. In the UK, we throw away 1.9 million slices of ham a day – a frightening statistic that requires a new approach to solving this problem.
We aim to reduce food waste at every step of the journey by allowing businesses and consumers to make more informed decisions about food freshness.
The After Opening Label is an intelligent label which starts to change colour once your food packaging is opened. It lets you know how long the packet has been open so you can eat the food while it is still fresh and safe.
Just open the packet of ham and use as normal. The After Opening Label will activate as soon as the packet is opened, and automatically changes colour as time passes.
The After Opening Label uses a smart plastic which detects changes in atmosphere and temperature. Opening the packet changes the atmosphere around the label, triggering the colour changing process. The centre dot on the label will change colour gradually from yellow to purple over three days, after which it is considered ‘past best’.
Yes! The labels are temperature sensitive and will change colour more slowly if the product is stored (after opening) at colder temperatures. Many household refrigerators run warmer than the recommended 5°C – this spoils fresh food faster. However the After Opening Label changes colour quicker to reflect the warmer storage temperature. The key is to keep your fridge at the correct temperature of 5°C or less.
The current advice on ham packets is to consume the product within two days of opening. This may seem like a short period of time, however it has been found that many household refrigerators run at too high a temperature. Therefore the 'consume within' advice needs to be overly cautious. Since the After Opening Label changes colour slower when stored in a colder fridge, it gives a more accurate indication of freshness and will often save you throwing out food unnecessarily while it is still safe to eat.
The After Opening Label also addresses other common reasons for household food waste, such as forgetting when you opened the packet and forgetting to use the product while it is still fresh.
The After Opening Label is an indicator of freshness of opened packets and does not replace the ‘use by’ date. Please do not use food after the ‘use by’ date.
We already have the technology available to create a range of labels for different products based on time and temperature requirements. We are currently trialling the After Opening Label on ham and with positive feedback we hope to extend it across a variety of ranges.