Food safety: thermo-chromic labels from Bicocca
To ensure the “cool chain”, the University of Milano Bicocca has developed a label that is sensitive to temperature changes and that changes colour when the safety limits are exceeded. The study was published in the scientific journal “Advanced Optical Materials”.
The “smart” label was designed by a team of researchers from the Department of Materials Science of the University of Milano Bicocca and the Imperial College of London, coordinated by Luca Beverina, associate professor in Organic Chemistry at the University of Milano Bicocca. The label is based on a chemical reaction optimized by researchers that activates an organic pigment on a porous silica film to be applied on the package.
The label is colourless: if during the journey the temperature exceeds 4°C, it becomes light blue; after being above the temperature suitable to ensure correct product storage for three hours, it becomes dark blue. The colouring is irreversible so that the label “always tells the truth” about the storage of a product, from packaging to sales desk.