Israeli startup Silo has developed a vacuum-seal container system that incorporates a built-in Alexa (Amazon’s cloud-based voice service) feature that not only keeps the food fresher for longer, but also reminds consumers to use stuff already stored in their fridges.

The smart containers keep food fresher and longer (by sucking out the air) and also include built-in tags which connect to the Alexa devices and track what they are holding. They deliver notifications on when items might spoil, telling the owners when to eat the food before it spoils. It even has a mobile app to manage the fridge while people are on the go.

By simply saying “strawberries”, for example, this plasticware automatically knows how many days it can host the produce before it goes bad.

The patented deep vacuum system slows down food spoilage caused by oxidization and bacteria, according to the company. The food is put in the container which is then placed on a countertop device and gently pressed down. This activates the vacuum process which happens from ‘the bottom up’ through the airway system which causes the air to be sucked from the bottom and up the airways on the side of the container and then out the top. The Silo system is both dishwasher and microwave safe, and can ensure that groceries and dinner leftovers last two to five times longer than the average Tupperware container, it claims.

When the container is placed on the device it immediately identifies the tag. Next, the device’s automated scale technology measures the contents. Alexa will then ask which food product is inside it. This information is then logged so that Silo’s smartphone app can communicate how much of the product is left and also how long it will remain fresh enough to eat. The app will also remind consumers when a particular product is running low and needs to be replenished, or if they are buying too much of a particular item.

“Let’s face it, nobody remembers what they put in the fridge two weeks ago,” said Silo founder and CEO Tal Lapidot. “We know that the only true way to enable you to enjoy your food for longer is if Silo remembers and manages your inventory for you.” He adds that the vacuum system is the ‘first in the world’ to seal with a single action. He believes that it has the potential to reduce food waste by 20-40%, depending on the product, and it can log what savings have been made, including reduced carbon footprint.

Silo was founded in 2016 and seed-funded by OurCrowd’s AI-focused fund Cognitiv Ventures. Currently, it is focused on the US market, but hopes to roll out the system in Europe once the market in the USA has been established.

This article was created in collaboration with AIPIA (the Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association). For a full update on active and intelligent packaging, come along to the AIPIA World Congress (co-organized by Packaging Europe) in Amsterdam on 14-15 November. The only smart packaging event covering the entire technology spectrum, the World Congress is a meeting place for the global active and intelligent packaging industry where brand owners, innovators, and other stakeholders can network and see and discuss the latest trends and innovations. Register to attend here.