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Bump Mark Labels Help You Waste Less Food

One of the main problems concerning food and packaging is the sheer amount of perfectly good food that is wasted. Households and businesses waste food every day.

For example:

  • 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from domestic homes
  • 7 million tonnes of food and drink is disposed of every year. More shockingly, more than half of this food could have been eaten safely.
  • The average cost of wasted food is around £60 per month in a UK household.
  • There is more food thrown away than food packaging!

 

Modern times

In today’s day and age there are many people who are inexperienced at cooking from scratch. Whether it’s down to lack of time or social changes the fact of the matter is that people do not cook as much as they did.

As a result people are less familiar with signs of freshness and deterioration in food. This is particularly prevalent in meat produce and dairy. Because we don’t recognise the signs we instead have a fear of food being off. This leads to the unnecessary disposal of perfectly edible food in case of the potential risk of food poisoning.

A lot of the problem is that people don’t like the look of food after it has been sat for a while. It is perfectly natural for some products to separate when left sitting. For example, oil based dressings will separate leaving the vinegar on the bottom and the oil on the top. In cases like these the food product simply needs stirring.

Labelling systems

Confusing labelling systems only help to make the situation worse. Many consumers find it difficult to distinguish the difference between ‘best before dates’ and use by dates’. There are also ‘enjoy by dates’ and ‘display until dates’ adding further to the confusion. In addition to this, many of the dates printed onto food products are artificially shortened to increase sales and introduce the mentality of buying food more often.

Image source (https://www.behance.net/gallery/17958839/Smart-Expiry-Label-Bump-Mark)

 

The bump mark

An innovative designer has managed to win the James Dyson Award with her revolutionary “bio-reactive” food label.

The Bump Mark designed by Solveiga Pakstaite helps to cut down on food waste. It takes the mystery out of whether food is fresh enough to still eat. It will also make consumers aware of when foods have become spoiled, taking out the guess work.

The clever design includes the use of gelatine over a layer of ridged and bumpy plastic. When the gelatine is first put into the label it is a solid. This prevents the bumps from being felt through the label. Over time, the gelatine breaks down and becomes a liquid, thus exposing the bumps. Once the bumps can be felt through the label it is an indicator that the food is no longer edible.

The motivation behind using gelatine is that it is a natural protein. This means that it can mimic the decaying process that food inside the packet is undergoing. The labelling system is ideal for food items such as milk and meat. It can also be used for other food products by altering the concentration of gelatine.

The bump mark label was originally created as a tactile indicator for blind and partially sighted people. 


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Bump Mark Labels Help You Waste Less Food

One of the main problems concerning food and packaging is the sheer amount of perfectly good food that is wasted. Households and businesses waste food every day.

For example:

  • 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from domestic homes
  • 7 million tonnes of food and drink is disposed of every year. More shockingly, more than half of this food could have been eaten safely.
  • The average cost of wasted food is around £60 per month in a UK household.
  • There is more food thrown away than food packaging!

 

Modern times

In today’s day and age there are many people who are inexperienced at cooking from scratch. Whether it’s down to lack of time or social changes the fact of the matter is that people do not cook as much as they did.

As a result people are less familiar with signs of freshness and deterioration in food. This is particularly prevalent in meat produce and dairy. Because we don’t recognise the signs we instead have a fear of food being off. This leads to the unnecessary disposal of perfectly edible food in case of the potential risk of food poisoning.

A lot of the problem is that people don’t like the look of food after it has been sat for a while. It is perfectly natural for some products to separate when left sitting. For example, oil based dressings will separate leaving the vinegar on the bottom and the oil on the top. In cases like these the food product simply needs stirring.

Labelling systems

Confusing labelling systems only help to make the situation worse. Many consumers find it difficult to distinguish the difference between ‘best before dates’ and use by dates’. There are also ‘enjoy by dates’ and ‘display until dates’ adding further to the confusion. In addition to this, many of the dates printed onto food products are artificially shortened to increase sales and introduce the mentality of buying food more often.

Image source (https://www.behance.net/gallery/17958839/Smart-Expiry-Label-Bump-Mark)

 

The bump mark

An innovative designer has managed to win the James Dyson Award with her revolutionary “bio-reactive” food label.

The Bump Mark designed by Solveiga Pakstaite helps to cut down on food waste. It takes the mystery out of whether food is fresh enough to still eat. It will also make consumers aware of when foods have become spoiled, taking out the guess work.

The clever design includes the use of gelatine over a layer of ridged and bumpy plastic. When the gelatine is first put into the label it is a solid. This prevents the bumps from being felt through the label. Over time, the gelatine breaks down and becomes a liquid, thus exposing the bumps. Once the bumps can be felt through the label it is an indicator that the food is no longer edible.

The motivation behind using gelatine is that it is a natural protein. This means that it can mimic the decaying process that food inside the packet is undergoing. The labelling system is ideal for food items such as milk and meat. It can also be used for other food products by altering the concentration of gelatine.

The bump mark label was originally created as a tactile indicator for blind and partially sighted people. 


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