Polymers research group at University of Burgos (Spain) has developed a smart tag that permits knowing the grade of freshness of packaged fish through an easily noticeable by the human eye color-changing label.
The technology, already patented and available for commercialization at Innoget, the trusted open innovation, science and technology network, under the title Smart tag to determine the quality of packaged fish is based in a novel polymeric material with colorimetrical properties, in other words, the color changes under the presence of biogenic amines.
The presence of biogenic amines is related to fish spoilage, becoming an indicator of freshness and quality for optimal consumption, avoiding food poisoning. Furthermore, the material developed is able to determine biogenic amines in solution and in gaseous phase.
As it is reported in the technology posted on Innoget, among the advantages of this technology highlights the determination of quality and freshness of packaged fish through a simple colored scale, the versatility of manufacture in different shapes and sizes and the simple and economical manufacture of the polymeric material. In fact, regarding the innovative aspect in relation to other technologies is that the tags can be presented in different formats depending on the needs, allowing the coating of other polymeric and non-polymeric materials by conventional means, by printing, or other known methods.
In terms of specifications, the polymeric material comprises a polymer with chemically anchored trinitrobenzene groups, which turns to be a colorimetric sensor for amines. This same sensor material can be obtained or transformed into membranes, films, fibers or coatings by conventional means.
One of the main characteristics of this patent is that the main applications gets focused in the quality and safety of packaged fish, allowing both the end user and food industry to have a trustable control over the product but itcan be used in the manufacture of smart textiles, abling to determine biogenic amines in work environments.