New Technology Makes it Simpler to Tell if Food Has Gone Bad
Eating on a budget can be stressful, especially when you find yourself routinely throwing food out because it has gone bad. But a University of Brunei student has invented a new food label that may save you that headache altogether.
Solveiga Pakstaite, an industrial design student, is a regional winner of the James Dyson Award for her revolutionary Bump Mark, an expiration label designed to provide a more accurate reference than a simple "use by" date for whether or not that cottage cheese is still good.
...each Bump Mark starts out as a smooth label, made mostly out of a specially-engineered type of gelatin. As the gelatin breaks down, the surface of the label slowly changes textures and exposes small bumps underneath. These bumps can be felt by a person running their finger over the label, and will become increasingly apparent as the gelatin decays further.
The gelatin each Bump Mark is comprised of can be specially engineered according to the food it is used for, so that it quite literally copies the decay rate of the given food. You will no longer have to rely on a general estimate of how long the food should last, or on the significantly-less-than-accurate "sniff test."
It is estimated that Bump Marks could save the average UK family over £700 a year -- the equivalent of around US$1,140, which, in most households is a pretty significant deal.
Bump Marks are currently still in the prototype stage, but as a Dyson Award winner, Pakstaite will receive £2,000 to continue development on the product, as well as the chance to win the international award, which comes with a hefty prize of an additional £30,000 for the student and £10,000 for their university department.