Mimica Touch tactile interface replaces expiring dates
Norwegian entrepreneur Solveiga Pakstaite invented a unique way to address the problem of confusing expiration dates with Mimica Touch, a bio-reactive food label.
The alarming rates of the food crisis still prevail as nearly 13 million people across 53 countries suffered acute hunger in 2018 and on the other hand, approximately one-third of the food produced for in the world is wasted. Confusion of ‘use by date’ and ‘best before’ labels is one of the key factors of wastage therefore perfectly consumable food is discarded by retailers and households adding up to 1.3 billion tons of food per year.
Mimica Touch examines food spoilage level with a gelatin base which decays at the same rate that of food. The invention is one of the most accurate methods to determine food condition.
Solving the confusion on the condition of food and the printed expiry date, the adoption of Mimica Touch on food packaging would contribute to limit the wastage of consumable food wastage.
The label works as a tactile warning: if it feels is solid and smooth it means that the food is perfectly edible, alternatively, when it is soft and bumpy it indicates that the food is rotten as the gelatin melts and decays with the food exposing the bumpy surface.
The Mimica touch label is made of four layers. The foundation of the label comprises a one-way membrane plastic film. The bottom layer is stacked with a plastic sheet with ridges which facilitate the bumps for the indication of spoilt food. Then the gelatin is integrated over the textured sheet and at last the entire unit is sealed with a plastic sheet.
The Mimica Touch concept was conceived by Solveiga Pakstaite during her college days while working on the solution to ease the struggle of visually impaired to check the expiry date on packaged food. She was inspired by the banana skin transformation which changes its colour and texture as it ripes and applied the same “trick” to plastic.
Mimica Touch has received a lot of appreciation and has also been awarded the People’s Choice award of FoodBytes by Rabobank.
Mimica Touch is patented and expected to debut in late 2019 in the market at the price of 1 penny. The company further plans to work on a vegan version of the label with sustainable material. It also aims to become a standard mark for freshness by developing the concept for other perishable items like pharmaceuticals.