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Intelligent packaging sends alerts when food is spoiled

Author : Chris Shaw

28 January 2013

Intelligent food packaging that monitors and records key physical properties and environmental data could be commercially available as early as 2014.

Packaging specialist, Bemis, has signed a joint development agreement with printed electronics company, Thinfilm Electronics, in a bid to accelerate research into functional sensor labels. The Bemis Intelligent Packaging Platform will be manufactured from new and emerging printed electronic technology made from Thinfilm’s read/writable printed memory and program logic.

According to Bemis, when used with its packaging, the line of ‘intelligent’ labels will monitor and record key physical properties and environmental data in packaged perishable products.
“Intelligent packaging is an emerging technology with many potential intersections with Bemis’ flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials business segments,” said Henry Theisen, Bemis Company President and CEO. “Our agreement with Thinfilm Electronics ASA is an investment in technology that could eventually make printed electronics a component of every package we manufacture.”

"These are exciting times for the printed electronics market, where innovative solutions that simply could not be manufactured before are soon to be delivered," added Thinfilm CEO Davor Sutija. "Our partnership with Bemis will lead to new categories and types of packaging that will bring intelligence to the everyday lives of millions of people worldwide."

In December 2012, Thinfilm announced its first proof-of-concept prototype of an integrated printed electronic tag based on rewritable memory. The printed electronic label, consisting of printed memory, sensor and logic, detects that critical temperature thresholds have been exceeded and records data digitally for later retrieval and display.

The comaSuch labels are designed to deliver item-level tracking of quality data for goods such as perishable foods and Thin Film believes the integrated system shows how low-cost, disposable printed electronic technology will provide information about product history based on data stored in Thinfilm Memory.

The Bemis Intelligent Packaging Platform is expected to be commercially available in 2014.


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