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Sensor Detects The Freshness Of Food

Researchers have created a smart circuit that could eliminate the need for expiration dates.

Yi Chen
Yi Chen on March 8, 2013. @yiiee


Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, Universitá di Catania, CEA-Liten and STMicroelectronics have developed a plastic analog-digital converter that can detect whether a certain food is good to eat or spoilt.

The plastic sensor circuit measures the food’s “environmental vitals” from within the packaging. This information can then be communicated to a mobile device as the sensor produces an analog signal that is then converted into a digital signal and picked up as an RFID signal.

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The technology eliminates the need of expiration dates printed on packaging. Every year, millions of tons of food are thrown away because the “best before” date has passed, although the food would still be perfectly healthy to consume.

The cost of the sensors are ultra-low and will only be less than one euro cent to produce. However, there’s still a long way to go of testing before we will see these smart sensors in local grocery stores.

Eindhoven University of Technology

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