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A quantitative, multifunctional, non-invasive and cost-effective food freshness indicator to reduce food waste

Project description

Innovative food freshness indicator extends shelf life

The expiry date of food products is fixed during the packaging and derives from studies, but it causes money losses and food waste. The information offered by existing traceability tools concerning the actual state of freshness and quality of food products is not reliable. The EU-funded ColorSensing project will carry out a feasibility study on an innovative, cost-effective and non-invasive food freshness indicator that reduces food waste. The technology relies on an advanced algorithm to correct colour distortions of quick response codes made of smart inks for sensing parameters inside food packages. Integrated with digital solutions allows for monitoring freshness in packaged foods and extends their shelf life.


Every year more than one 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted which is a huge both environmental and economic problem. Food waste happens all along the pathway to the plate and is a massive food supply chain inefficiency. For example inefficiencies occur when the fresh food manufacturers perform destructive quality controls every hour to detect leaks in the packaging, or when the cold chain breaks occur during transit, or when consumer fights against uncertainty by throwing away food. The expiry date is fixed during the packaging through studies of life-time and causes all agents in the food supply chain to lose money and waste resources at some point. Currently, the traceability tools available in the market do not offer information on the real state of freshness and quality of food products.
ColorSensing is based on an advanced algorithm able to correct color distorsions of QR codes made of smart inks for sensing parameters inside food packages. Integrating this with digital solutions allows to monitor the freshness of packaged foods and extend their shelf life. Our innovative technology (TRL6) is a quantitative, multifunctional, cost-effective and non-invasive food freshness indicator to reduce food waste. We have received public funds to develop our technology (e.g. €1.5m from the EU ERC program) and been selected to participate in multiple startups accelerator programs such as ENPENTA VII or Innofood. We have created an ecosystem of industrial partners (food manufacturers as Embutits Monells, Barrufet Group and supermarkets as Bonpreu and Condis) that are interested in our technology and are asking us to develop our prototypes up to a market-ready solution. We aim to become the next quality standard in packaged food manufacturing and now we are applying to the SME Instrument Phase 1 to carry out an exhaustive Feasibility Study.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
MORALES 21, 1º L
08029 Barcelona

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00