Insignia Technologies targets global expansion after funding boost

By Joe Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Insignia Waste Watch: Food Fresh Indicators. Picture courtesy of Insignia
Insignia Waste Watch: Food Fresh Indicators. Picture courtesy of Insignia
Insignia Technologies has targeted global expansion after receiving funding for its product range used in food packaging to minimise food waste.

Insignia has created an ink that changes colour when exposed to external influences such as oxygen, UV light and humidity levels.

The patented smart pigments can be incorporated into plastic food packaging, creating colour changing plastic film which will help minimise food wastage and ensure consumers know when food is fit to eat.

They hope it will help reduce the estimated 18 million tonnes of edible food sent to UK landfill each year.

Spin-off company

The firm launched in August 2012 as a result of a merger between the intelligent inks business Insigniapack and a spin-out company from the University of Strathclyde (Novas Technologies) which was the result of a successful project looking at smart plastics for the food industry.

Insigniapack previously developed a range of intelligent inks for use as sensors in food packaging, while Novas Technologies are experts in smart pigment technology.

Novas CO2​ Indicator Pigment is a specialized pigment for use in plastic packaging which shows a clear colour change when packaging has been damaged on products packed in a modified atmosphere.

This allows manufacturers and retailers to remove this product from the supply chain before it even reaches the supermarket shelf.

Novas Embedded Label is a label which is incorporated into a film lid and activated when the consumer opens the packet and triggers a timer to show a strong colour change as the food within loses freshness.

Waste Watch Food Fresh indicators can be applied in home and change colour over time to act as a visual reminder that food may be past its best.

Project backing

The company received £100,000 from SMART:SCOTLAND (contributing to a total project cost of £136, 648), and the company also has £710,000 of Young Innovative Enterprise funding (supported by the European Union) in place.  

The Fraunhofer Institute developed a cost-effective colour-changing intelligent sensor film for meat or fish packaging in 2011 to see if the food has spoiled.

The sensor film responds to biogenic amines produced by the foods, which are emitted principally by meat and fish when they decay, said scientists from the German-based institute.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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