Developing novel intelligent labels for chilled and frozen food products and promoting the influence of smart labels application on waste reduction, food quality and safety in the European supply chains.
FP7 – Research for SME Associations
01.08.2010 – 31.07.2013
IQ-FRESHLABEL is a research project, partly funded by the European Commission in the 7th Framework programme. The project runs over three years (1st Aug 2010 to 31st July 2013) and has 18 partners from 9 different countries working on:
- Promoting implementation of novel smart labels through investigation of consumer, retailer and industry expectations
- Informing consumers, retailers and industry about advantages the novel smart labels can offer
- Developing a novel smart label to monitor temperature abuse of frozen foods
- Developing a novel smart label to monitor oxygen content in modified atmosphere packaged products
Controlling post production life cycle of food is an important element of food supply chains. Improper handling of product during transport, storage and in households results in quality defects, increases risk of microbial growth, subsequent spoilage and edible waste of food. The FP6 project FRESHLABEL succeeded in the development of the first generation of commercially available and applied Time-Temperature-Indicators (TTIs) for fresh chilled products. FRESHLABEL demonstrated that the number of rejected products and, thus, economical losses within a supply chain can be considerably reduced.
However, the project showed that there are still many unexploited application areas for smart labels, which IQ-FRESHLABEL will reduce by the development of novel intelligent labels for indication of temperature abuse of frozen foods. These smart labels have to meet different demands compared to the TTIs for fresh products. Storage time is much longer and the temperature difference between optimal storage and risky high temperatures is much higher, but quality deterioration occurs already at slightly increased temperatures.
Furthermore, IQ-FRESHLABEL will develop intelligent labels for Modified Atmosphere Packed (MAP) fresh poultry meat. These labels will show a colour change when the modified atmosphere, which has most cases a high level of carbon dioxide and a low level of oxygen, is changing.
Next to the research on novel intelligent labels, IQ-FRESHLABEL will conduct consumer and retailer acceptance study with respect to intelligent labels application in order to support implementation of smart labels. The labels can offer a wide range of advantages, especially in the areas of:
- Quality management
- Food safety management (HACCP)
- Ware house management
- Temperature monitoring
- Waste reduction
Further information on related topics:
Press release: Intelligent label for better food