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 Ås, 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 Lantmännen 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 April 20, 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 April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
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