Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Less waste with shelf-life indicator for food

Date:
September 2, 2010
Source:
The Research Council of Norway
Summary:
Norwegian food retailers discard over 50,000 tonnes of food annually -- much of it of perfectly good quality. New technology the TimeTemp company in cooperation with Norwegian research institutions could substantially reduce this wastefulness. TimeTemp has developed a new method of more precisely measuring the freshness of food items: a shelf-life indicator attached directly to the product. In addition to time, the company's device also factors in the temperatures to which the item has been exposed.

Norwegian food retailers discard over 50,000 tonnes of food annually -- much of it of perfectly good quality. New technology from Norway could substantially reduce this wastefulness.

Conventional marking of expiry dates is the problem. Temperature-sensitive food products are marked with a use-by date to indicate how long the item will retain its quality. But the quality of food products is determined by more than just time frame -- temperature is also a critical factor.

Food producers at present have little control over the temperatures their goods are exposed to throughout the value chain, so they mark their products with a short shelf life just to be on the safe side. This practice sends a great many perfectly fine products to the rubbish bin.

Billions wasted

Figures from Statistics Norway show that Norwegian grocery shops, households, restaurants and institutions throw out food worth over NOK 10 billion every year.

"When we consider that a billion people around the world are starving, this is a massive waste of resources we cannot allow ourselves to continue," asserts Christian Salbu Aasland. He is head of TimeTemp AS, a technology company with roots at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Εs, Norway.

Accurate indicator

Through innovative research, TimeTemp has developed a new method of more precisely measuring the freshness of food items: a shelf-life indicator attached directly to the product. In addition to time, the company's device also factors in the temperatures to which the item has been exposed.

"Our indicator gives a running countdown of a food item's remaining shelf life based on time elapsed and its temperature environment, all the way from the production line to the consumer's refrigerator shelf at home."

Temperature control from production to home kitchen

The method is based on a patented chemical technology and could replace conventional marking of expiry dates -- as well as enable the consumer to see whether any given product on a retailer's shelf has been kept at suitable temperatures from the time it was produced. The indicator will even help consumers to store items properly at home.

A prototype of the technology now exists, and TimeTemp hopes to bring its shelf-life indicator to market in the course of 2011.

TimeTemp ASIn 2008, TimeTemp AS was awarded funding under the Research Council of Norway's Food Programme: Norwegian Food from Sea and Land to develop an industrial prototype of its shelf-life indicator. Concluding in 2010, the project is being carried out in cooperation with grocery chain conglomerate NorgesGruppen, baked goods supplier Lantmδnnen Unibake, and McDonald's Norway.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Research Council of Norway. The original article was written by Ellen Heggestad/Else Lie; translation by Darren McKellep/Carol B. Eckmann. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Research Council of Norway. "Less waste with shelf-life indicator for food." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901103905.htm>.
The Research Council of Norway. (2010, September 2). Less waste with shelf-life indicator for food. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901103905.htm
The Research Council of Norway. "Less waste with shelf-life indicator for food." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901103905.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins