Now, a wrapping that will tell you when food`s going off!

The smart plastic packaging detects when meat, fish or salad leaves have passed their use-by date.

Last Updated: Jan 07, 2011, 21:38 PM IST

London: Now, an intelligent food wrapping
which will tell you when food`s going off, say scientists who
claim to have created the packaging that changes colour if the
contents are going bad.

The smart plastic packaging detects when meat, fish or
salad leaves have passed their use-by date or have been left
out of the fridge for too long; it also alerts householders if
sealed packaging has been broken or damaged, putting contents
at risk, the `Daily Mail` reported.

The British scientists behind the intelligent wrap
believe it will reduce unnecessary household waste and help
cut tons of food being thrown away, and will also help people
uncertain about best-before and use-by dates on food.

Previously, researchers have developed indicator
labels which are inserted into food packaging. But, the new
plastic is designed to be part of the wrapping itself.

It works with food such as meat, fish or salad that
has been sealed in a "modified atmosphere" -- where levels of
oxygen are reduced and replaced with inert nitrogen or carbon
dioxide gases to slow natural decay.

The new plastic is designed to change colour if levels
of oxygen rise above a predetermined level. It also responds
to chemical changes triggered by food spoiling.

Professor Andrew Mills, who is leading the research at
Strathclyde University, was quoted as saying, "At the moment
we throw out far too much food, which is environmentally and
economically damaging.

"We hope this will reduce the risk of people eating
food that is no longer fit for consumption and help prevent
unnecessary waste of food."

PTI