London: Food poisoning could become a thing of the past thanks to a revolutionary packaging which changes colour to show when fresh produce has gone stale.
Scientists have invented a sensor film which changes from yellow to blue to indicate when meat or fish has gone bad.
It could mean an end to the unpleasant kitchen ritual of having to smell chicken legs, pork chops or pieces of fish to see if they are spoiled.
There have been several scandals involving the sale of rotten meat. Customers themselves shorten the shelf-life of many meat and fish products by not storing them properly, reports the Daily Mail.
Now, experts at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies in Munich have developed a plastic film which can be incorporated into packaging.
The film responds to biogenic amines, the molecules produced when foods such as meat and fish decay. They are also responsible for the unpleasant smell from food which has gone stale.
If amines are released into the air within the packaging, the indicator dye on the sensor film reacts with them and changes its colour from yellow to blue.
Anna Hezinger, a project researcher, said: "Once a certain concentration range is reached, the colour change is clearly visible and warns the consumer."
"This is not only interesting when it comes to identifying foods that have become inedible.
"Many people are also extremely sensitive to the presence of certain amines, which makes a warning all the more important for them," said Hezinger.
First Published: Friday, April 22, 2011, 22:32