An indicator of breakage in the microbiological cold chain, this new-generation adhesivelabel (time-temperature integrator) is programmed according to the desired tracingcriteria and is applied directly over a bar code.
In the last decade, food quality assurance hasbecome increasingly imperative to grocers and
consumers. With recent food scares, consumers have become increasingly vigilant about the quality of perishable food products they purchase and consume. The French company CRYOLOG has designed the TRACEO® transparent label to trace freshness at a glance.
Applied over a bar code, the label turns opaque when the product is no longer fit for consumption by using an innovative patented microorganism technology that simulates the actual degradation of the product to which it is affixed. Significant food scares (avian flu, mad cow disease, listeriosis, dioxin, foot-and-mouth disease) have shaken consumers’ confidence and trust in their food’s quality and even in the whole agribusiness sector. Traceability is becoming generalized with the aim of being able to keep track of a packaged foodstuff from the moment it is manufactured to the moment it is consumed.
The TRACEO® label provides a solution to public health problems caused by breakage in the cold chain by making it possible to optimize a product’s freshness. Its general applications are tracing of fresh foodstuffs in grocery stores, and monitoring prepared meals and sandwiches in the catering market. It can also be used in the health market for applications such as monitoring vaccines, blood collection bags, etc.
An indicator of breakage in the microbiological cold chain, this new-generation adhesive label (time-temperature integrator) is programmed according to the desired tracing criteria and is applied directly over a bar code. Made up of a gel and microorganisms, it turns opaque when the product is no longer fit for consumption, either after accumulative exposure to excess temperature, if the product has been suitably kept, or when the expiration date has passed. When the label has turned opaque, the bar code can no longer be read or scanned. Those products no longer fit for consumption can be automatically and visually detected and will not even reach the consumer’s hands. Even the consumer can benefit from the technology by simply looking at the bar code before using the product, in the event that he kept it too long before consumption.
The producer activates the label when it is affixed to the end product. It then monitors and tracks the product’s freshness from the moment it leaves the factory until it enters a consumer’s refrigerator, after going through distribution channels and supermarket shelves.
The innovation and performance of TRACEO® have enabled CRYOLOG to pick up more than 15 awards and prizes in France, among which the first prize in the 2005 Packaging Oscars, the Trophy for Innovation awarded by the Agribusiness Industry Suppliers’ Convention, and also attract support from OSEO ANVAR (France’s Agency for Innovation, a public body). TRACEO® has won the recognition of the scientific and industrial communities. It has been adopted by major catering companies such as ELIOR, number 2 in Europe, or supermarkets and hypermarkets of the likes of CORA, a chain of 60 hypermarkets with an annual sales turnover of more than $12 billion.
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