Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups in the packaging industry. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising food waste reduction solutions in packaging.
Heat Map: 5 Top Food Waste Reduction Startups
For our 5 picks of food waste reduction startups, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 150 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
PA Packaging Solutions – Barrier Packaging
One way to reduce food waste is through the use of barrier packaging. It protects food from external factors such as oxygen, moisture, light and extends a product’s shelf life. Australian startup PA Packaging Solutions offers home compostable barrier packaging, made from renewable resources such as plant fibers, that give a longer shelf life to products and turns into compost in 26 weeks.
Insignia Technologies – Freshness Indicators
People discard food that is still safe to eat because they’re unsure how long the packaging has been open for or they feel it has been open “too long”. An alternative solution is intelligent packaging, which includes smart tags or color changing indicators according to surrounding conditions. This packaging can indicate how long a package has been open and allows the consumer to only discard food that is indicated as unsafe to eat. Scottish company Insignia Technologies develops smart pigments and inks that change color when exposed to a variety of gases or UV light. Smart pigments are incorporated into plastic food packaging as a color changing plastic film which helps minimize food waste and ensures consumers that their food is still fresh for consumption unless indicated otherwise.
It’s Fresh! – Ethylene Absorbing Filters
Non-invasive discrete filters work by removing the ripening hormone, ethylene, away from fresh produce thus creating a protected atmosphere around fresh fruit and vegetables. The filters carry on working after the packs are opened, for as long as the filter remains with the product. UK-based It’s Fresh! produces discrete ethylene absorbing filters called “e+active”, that purify the air around perishable produce inside its packaging. This helps keep fruit fresh longer and extends the shelf life. An active material is printed onto a normal pack label and can be used for any kind of packaging.
Cronogard – Antimicrobial Packaging Surface
Special inorganic components capture contaminants in water vapor and gas, while an organic molecule makes the packaging surface less susceptible to colonization by microorganisms. This gives the food an optimal environment, which benefits its shelf-life. Italian startup Cronogard patented a technology used in packaging to reduce the formation of biofilm on packaging surfaces. The protective and antibacterial activity of Cronogard inhibits the agents responsible for organoleptic decay from forming inside the package thereby extending the shelf-life of packaged food.
Senoptica Technologies – Gas Concentration Sensors
Hermetically sealed packaging is widely used to keep perishable products such as meat, bread, and bagged salads fresh. But its weaknesses are poor sealings and packaging defects. When this happens products spoil and create waste as well as a potential food safety hazard. Gas concentration sensors indicate the gas concentration levels within the package, making it easy to check a product’s condition and freshness. Senoptica Technologies, from Ireland, develops a sensor that reduces food waste. It is printed into the laminated film of a package (Vacuum Packaging, Modified Atmosphere Packaging or Vacuum Skin Packaging). This enables non-invasive and non-destructive identification of packaging defects. Depending on the O2 levels within the package, a different color will appear when scanned with the Senoptica scanning system.
What About The Other 150 Food Waste Reduction Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 food waste reduction startups showcased above are promising examples out of 150 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.