New technology allows packaging to change colour to alert consumer when product is unfit for consumption
We may soon be able to stop worrying about the risk of using products in an inappropriate state for consumption. A technology which permits packaging to communicate with the consumer, the so-called “intelligent packaging,” is being researched by Braskem, the biggest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, in partnership with Clemson University in the US and Brazils Rio Grande do Sul Federal University (UFRGS). The technology will be presented by Braskem at Interpack 2017, Hall 9 - G15.
Intelligent packaging uses specific indicators to demonstrate the state of conservation of its contents, emitting an external alert. The packaging will change colour to warn the consumer if the product is unfit for consumption. This technology can be used for perishable product packaging in various sectors.
In research conducted with poultry, meat and fish, for example, pH alterations determine a packaging colour change. Patrick Teyssonneyre, Braskems global director for Technology and Innovation, maintains that a products entire value chain can benefit from this technology. “This gives consumers greater quality assurance on the products they take home, and, at the same time, allows companies to control product integrity after manufacture, either during transport or at the point of sale,” he points out.
Braskem began researching intelligent packaging in 2013, concluded Proof of Concept trials in 2015, and produced the first prototypes in 2016. It currently has available capacity for further development of studies in this area with interested sectors. “Intelligent packaging needs to be customized for specific segments: this means it may be a few more years before it appears on supermarket shelves,” explains Teyssonneyre.
How does intelligent packaging work?
- Chemical substances able to react to specific indicators of product damage are added to the thermoplastic resin used in the packaging.
- When product integrity suffers any type of alteration, the packaging changes colour to alert the consumer.Braskem at Interpack, Hall 9 G15
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Braskem is the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas, with annual production volume of over 20 million tons, which includes other chemicals and basic petrochemicals, and annual revenue of R$54 billion. Driven by its purpose of improving peoples lives and creating sustainable solutions in chemicals and plastics, Braskem operates in more than 70 countries, has around 8,000 Team Members and operates 40 industrial units in Brazil, the United States, Germany and Mexico, the latter in partnership with the Mexican company Idesa.
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