Cold Chain Safety Sticker Indicates Food Spoilage

Friday, April 17th, 2020 | 1924 Views

Researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) have developed a cold-chain safety sticker which indicates whether refrigerated food products such as fish, meat, fruits and vegetables are spoiled during delivery or storage.

Refrigerated or frozen foods that have been exposed in room temperature can become breeding grounds for bacteria, especially during malfunction of refrigerators or freezer trucks. Hence, the sticker is designed to prevent incidents of food poisoning due to unknowing consumption of spoiled food.

This technology behind these stickers involves a nano-fibre film which becomes transparent when exposed to room temperature (10 deg C and above). The nano-fibre film consists of thin threads of intersecting nanometers. At low temperatures, the film appears opaque as the structure is stable and light is scattered. However, when exposed to room temperature, the nano-fibre structure collapse and allows light to pass through which would make the film appear transparent. Furthermore, depending on the thickness of the sticker, it is designed to become transparent after a minimum of 30min exposure or maximum of 24 hours.

“This sticker, once exposed to room temperature, cannot be restored to its original state even if one attempts to refrigerate or freeze it again. Also, room-temperature exposure time cannot be manually adjusted. This means that there is virtually no room for any manipulation,” said Dr. Dongyeop Oh from the KRICT.

Hence this sticker indicates the history of exposure to room temperate which consumers can use to determine food spoilage. Not only can it be used for food product applications but also cold-chain distribution of medicine and medical supplies.


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