PolyTaksys, a Germany-based AIPIA member which has previously developed Open Monitor stickers that can reveal messages over a defined time period, is now able to announce the introduction of U4FOOD Smart Labels to address the issues of food loss and waste in the refrigeration sector.

The company is offering interested industry partners the opportunity to implement their own test market in supermarkets with U4FOOD opening time control labels from the middle of this year.

The label is activated either automatically when the product is opened via the product moisture, or by manual activation. Information and recommendations for action are released in a daily sequence, over a defined time period, for example one, two or three days – each day revealing a different, more urgent message. Depending on the rate of cooling the release of information can be accelerated or slowed down, says the company.

The innovative Open Monitor technology allows manufacturers and producers to let packaging speak, explains PolyTaksys, creating a direct interaction between the product and consumer. The U4Food label reminds consumers to eat limited shelf-life products and in doing so ensures more sustainability, as well as giving information about the product/brand and ultimately leads to sales growth, it claims.

This test offer will be followed by further testing in markets for an individual dynamic best-before date (BBD). The dynamic BBD goes a step further, as safety buffers to the length shelf life are no longer needed, it believes. The monitored cold chain becomes the new dimension for food safety. Depending on the cooling quality, the dynamic label extends or shortens the best-before date independently and automatically. These functions can be transferred for logistics tasks with RFID coupling.

The company already has the ability to scale production of the label, with five million labels per day, per machine possible, which guarantees prices in the low cent range, it says.

“As target groups, we address U4Food consumers who want to consume more sustainably, product manufacturers who want to distinguish themselves ecologically and retailers who are building up future-oriented product offerings,” says Torsten Münich, managing partner of PolyTaksys.

Interested parties can still register for the DIN SPEC ‘opening time control’ project and participate directly. DIN is the German Institute for Standardisation and DIN SEC is a standardisation preliminary stage where, in a project to be approved with cross-sector participants, both the product - with performance data for application purposes - is analysed and defined in meetings held over six months. The project has been approved by DIN management and interested parties can still register there as participants, as the project start has not yet been triggered.

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.