Nothing can be more annoying than opening the refrigerator in the morning, to have a glass of milk and find out that it has expired. As it’s quite difficult for someone to remember when the milk is going to be spoiled, having a milk carton that could let you know when the milk is about to go off would be a nice idea.
So, the Irish researchers have developed electronic smart labels, made of two-dimensional nanomaterials, which could convert any food packaging into the smart packaging. It means your milk carton could display digital countdown, warning you when the milk is about to be spoiled.
Apart from texting you when your food is expired, scientists reckon this nanotechnology could be integrated into a whole host of untapped applications, such as wine labels that ping when it’s at the right temperature.
This groundbreaking technology, which has been developed by researchers from Trinity College Dublin, combines 2D printing technology with the new nano-materials, such as phosphorene, graphene, and molybdenite to develop nanosheets.
“In the future, printed devices will be incorporated into even the most mundane objects such as labels, posters and packaging,” said Trinity Prof Jonathan Coleman.
“Printed electronic circuitry (constructed from the devices we have created) will allow consumer products to gather, process, display and transmit information: for example, milk cartons could send messages to your phone warning that the milk is about to go out-of-date.”
Besides food packaging, the team suggests this tech could also be used for developing banknotes, e-passports for a more secure generation.
Less food wastage
According to food waste reduction charity Wrap, around 500 million pints of milk are spoiled each year, with 20% of those based on labeling on the milk carton. This nano-tech is hoped to reduce the numbers of foods that are wasted.