This Food Packaging Reduces Food Waste by Knowing When It Goes Bad

We use sell-by or best-by labels on food products currently to let us know when items are safe to eat. The only problem with this strategy is that many things remain safe for days, and sometimes weeks, after those printed deadlines.

Using these arbitrary dates is one of several reasons why up to 40% of the edible food made available in the United States goes to waste.

IndieBio is a biotech accelerator in San Francisco that has a unique idea. A team of entrepreneurs has developed a new bio-based packaging concept that responds to the environment. It can detect safety issues with your food while still being safely composted.

The Packaging Materials Contain Core Sensing Technology

The thin plastic materials used in wraps, bags, and food pouches aren’t easy to recycle because it consists of multiple product layers. Even if the infrastructure to reuse it existed, a lack of demand would make the economics of such an effort challenging.

This new material comes from algae that suck up significant quantities of carbon dioxide as it grows. It also blocks damaging UVB rays from the sun.

Then the wrap can indicate a variety of informational points to consumers. It could change color if someone tampers with the product, indicate if meat has spoiled, or respond to high temperatures to suggest that food is unsafe to eat.

The sensing technology works in a laboratory environment, so IndieBio plans to launch it to the marketplace in 2020 as compostable film packaging.



Share this story with your network