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Pass for a changing world

Bacteria detector labels for smart packaging

Published on March 10, 2017
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As part of the food industry, bacteria detection labels aim to avoid the risk of epidemic and food waste.

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Detection of bacteria is needed in many contexts and for different reasons. In the medical field, doctors need to know as quickly as possible if there is a bacterial contamination, but also if the tools used to operate are safe and sterilized. In the military field, detection of bacteria is used to spot quickly bacteriological attack. In the food sector, industrials have the obligation to ensure the safety of their products, and the reglementation will certainly become more stringent.

Actually, detection of bacteria is possible in a laboratory and need time to produce results. These methods are applicable to the medical, military and food sectors, which want to reduce the time required to obtain results. In consequence, each sector finds new ways of detection.

In this report, we will focus on the food industry which needs only to detect and not to quantify bacteria. To know if a product is consumable or not, industrials invented different ways like smart packaging and active packaging. Many of these packagings have the purpose to reduce food waste. Indeed, it represents nearly a third of the world production, which make 1,3 billion of tons lost by year. This food is lost or wasted since the initial production to the household consumption. It's estimated from 95 to 115 kg/year by inhabitant in Europe or in North America. The European Parliament estimates that if nothing is done within 2020, food waste could rise to 40%. Moreover, as more than one billion of people are suffering of malnutrition, the issue of food waste involves a particular ethical dimension. Food waste is mainly done at home and at the production place.

Bacteria detector labels are also a way to reduce food waste, but do they have the development possibility in smart packaging? Firstly, we will study the traditional methods of detection. Then, we will explain what smart packaging is and focus on time-temperature indicators (TTI). Thirdly, we will analyse the market of TTI labels. Fourthly, we will examine detector of bacteria adapted as label. Finally, we will discuss what might be the future market for these labels.

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Technology Watch & Economic Intelligence Report

Bacteria detector labels for smart packaging


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Written by Anne Pandolfi

Date of update March 10, 2017

Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes
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