On-Pack Freeze Alert for Food Safety During Shipping
Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI, ctiinks.com), in partnership with American Thermal Instruments (ATI, americanthermal.com), introduces BlindSpotz freeze-warning technology. It can be printed economically on individual packages to help protect medical supplies and foods, while also lowering product waste.
Products that can be damaged by freezing temperatures include fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meat, flowers, agricultural products, ink, chemicals, solvents, paint, medical samples, vaccines, food home delivery and certain types of mail or freight.
The current cold-chain technology to record temperatures between 4°C (39° F) and -4°C (25° F) cost around $3 per device, making the technology unsuitable for on-package monitoring. BlindSpotz freeze spot technology costs pennies per package. The capability embeds the technology into an ink system that can be incorporated into the existing printing process for packaging. Now billions of packages of lettuce, strawberries, flowers, paint and vaccines can be individually inspected for quality and safety.
“A big challenge is the reduction in food waste. Right now, if a truck delivering $50,000 in fresh produce is measured to be at 28 degrees F during transportation, a customer’s internal policies will dictate if the shipment is rejected or accepted. With the BlindSpotz freeze indicator on individual packages or cases, the truck can be inspected and sorted.
Extensive government regulations from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture require cold-chain monitoring on any food product affected by temperature. The ability to now record data and inspect at the package level is an improvement in monitoring and reporting.
CTI will handle the technical support for all on-package printing while ATI will manage the customer implementation of cold-chain monitoring and data in support of those opportunities.
BlindSpotz is available in UV- and water-based flexo, water-based gravure, wet offset, UV-wet offset ink formulas, as well as finished devices. Additional technology for devices and on-pack printing is available to alert in event of thawing, warming outside of refrigeration specifications, high-heat damage and tampering.