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Americas: CTI develops package indicators for safe products

Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) has developed patent-pending ‘reveal inks’ that provide “return to fridge” reminders to products as milk, yoghurt, salsa, pickles and ketchup.

“Most parents know that food safety at home is a big deal, but they need help understanding how long they can keep something out of the fridge,” said chief marketing officer Patrick Edson.

“Food companies are understandably hesitant to put warning labels on their packaging, so the problem continues to exist. The simple solution is a ‘return to fridge’ reminder that appears on packaging when the product starts to warm up and the product can become vulnerable to spoilage.”

“When the temperature is fine, the reminder is ‘off.’ When the package is getting warm, the reminder turns ‘on,’” says Edson.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends any refrigerated food should be discarded if it has been in temperatures above 40° F (4.4° C) for over two hours.

CTI’s “reveal inks” can be printed cans, paper labels, cartons and film and is powered by a combination of thermochromic inks.

When the product, such as milk, is at a safe temperature, the message reads “Drink Milk,” but when the carton reaches a target warm temperature (such as 40° F or 4.4° C), a color will disappear revealing a “return to fridge” reminder to the consumer.

CTI’s process allows the message, which is enabled to be ‘on’ and ‘off’ throughout the life of the package, to be customized.