Scientists develop fully edible sensor showing if frozen food was thawed

Sensor provides a color readout when it’s warmed above a specific temperature, which is tunable from -58 F to 32 F

Keeping food cold while it’s transported and stored is essential to retaining its flavour and quality, reducing the risk of food poisoning and minimising waste. While researchers have developed devices that alert manufacturers when cold items are exposed to unwanted temperatures, they only indicate changes above freezing.

To create a sensor for frozen products, one solution could be to use materials with electrical properties that are altered upon melting. It would also be ideal if such changes could produce a signal, such as a visible colour change. In addition, an edible electronic device, which uses only food and consumable components, would be the safest way to monitor food.

So, a team of scientists at Italy set out to develop the first fully edible, self-powered temperature sensor with a visible colour indicator for use with frozen products.

The researchers say that their proof-of-concept sensor paves the way for edible materials to be used in inexpensive, safe technologies that alert customers to a frozen product’s storage history.

Image credit- shutterstock

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