26 June 2019


New Paper-Based Food Freshness Sensors Could Replace 'Use-By' Dates to Cut Food Waste

Academics at Imperial College Londn have developed low-cost, smartphone-linked, eco-friendly spoilage sensors for meat and fish packaging. The researchers say the new sensors could help detect spoilage and reduce food waste for supermarkets and consumers.

One in three UK consumers throw away food solely because it reaches the use-by date, but sixty per cent (4.2million tonnes) of the 12.5 billion-worth of food we throw away each year is safe to eat.

These new laboratory prototype sensors, developed at Imperial College London, cost two pence each to make. Known as 'paper-based electrical gas sensors' (PEGS), they detect spoilage gases like ammonia and trimethylamine in meat and fish products.

The sensor data can be read by smartphones, so that people can hold their phone up to the packaging to see whether the food is safe to eat.