Food waste is a global problem.
1.3 billion tonnes or one-third of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted or lost every year. Whether you are the farmer, distributor, seller or consumer, wasted food is expensive. Food waste impacts the climate, water and biodiversity.
The “Food Waste and Date Marking” survey by the European Union finds date labels confuse consumers. “Sell by”, “display by”, “use by” and “best before”, let us help clarify these terms: –
- “Sell by” and “display by” dates are instructions for retailers, not the consumer.
- “Use by” dates appear on high-risk foods such as fresh meat, which break down and can cause immediate danger to human health. It is not advisable to eat these foods after the “use by” date because harmful bacteria at the early stages of food decay are hard to see or smell. Freezing food before the “use by” date will extend its life, however, once defrosted consume the food within 24 hours.
- “Best before” dates appear on foods with longer shelf life. This can range from fresh, frozen, dried and tinned foods. “Best before” indicates the date which the food retains its best quality, texture and flavour. Food that has just passed its “best before” date can still be safe to eat.
Mimica has created a food expiration label that gives real-time information. The label decays at the same rate as the food it is labelling and is accurate to 1 hour of the food expiring. These clever labels are food safe and calibrated to that specific food, adjusting to changes in conditions along the way including temperature fluctuations.
The team at Mimica consists of food scientists working alongside industrial designers. Together they used chemistry and smart design to create a unique product. Furthermore, Mimica labels were designed to be inclusive to people with visual and cognitive impairments. Using the sense of touch, when the label feels smooth it means your food is still fresh. If the label feels bumpy this means the food has spoiled. Mimica is redefining the standard for food labelling.
Most importantly, Mimica is shining a light on accessible designs. We need more products like these, giving people with disabilities the opportunity to live independently where possible.