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Intelligent Label for better food

Two intelligent labels were developed to monitor the time and temperature of frozen products and to monitor the oxygen content in modified atmosphere packed fresh chilled food. The food producer, transporter, retailer and consumer can see with a change of colour of the smart label if the food has been stored at too high temperature and consequently if the food is prematurely spoiled.

Bremerhaven, February 2014. Controlling the post production life cycle of food is an important element of food supply chains. Improper handling of product during transport, storage and in households results in quality defects, increases risk of microbial growth, subsequent spoilage and increases wasting of food.

Previous investigations showed that there are still many unexploited application areas for time-temperature monitoring using smart labels. In the IQ-FRESHLABEL project, novel intelligent labels for indication of temperature abuse of frozen foods were developped. These smart labels have to meet demands specific to frozen food: very long shelf-life of 18 to 24 months, important difference between optimal storage of -18°C and risky high temperatures around 0°C and major quality deterioration occuring already at negative temperature slightly above optimal. Smart labels for frozen fish products are validated in Greek cold chain and ready to be implemented on the market. It is possible on a unit base to monitor the quality of the food products in terms of respect of the optimal storage temperature along the cold chain.

Leakages in chilled poultry products packed under modified atmosphere lead to change of the gas atmosphere and thus the shelf life of a product is decreased by 26% for example for a leakage with 0.2mm diameter. A novel, cheap and non-destructive quantitative oxygen detection system, using luminescence technology was created to detect leakages in MAP food (detection range 0-30% O2) and inform about subsequent potential premature spoilage of the food product.

The socio-economical impact of the integration of the smart labels in different food chains was studied in Finland, Germany, Southern France, and Greece. Food manufacturers, retailers and consumers see benefit in implementing intelligent labels. Consumers consider that products with TTI are of higher quality than the ones without and are willing to pay 20 cents more for TTIs (n=2525 consumers interviewed).

Participating food, packaging and consumer associations promoted the influence of smart labels application on waste reduction, food quality and safety in the European supply chains in Greece, Finland, Norway, France, Romania and Poland. Consumers considered that TTIs would assist them to handle food products in adequate manner (n=2525).

IQ-FRESHLABEL is a research project, partly funded by the European Commission in the 7th Framework programme. The project was running for three and a half years (1st August 2010 to 31st January 2014) with 17 partners from 9 different countries.


Final Project Meeting in Athens

The 23rd and 24th of January 2014, the project partners met in Athens to discuss the progress achieved since the last meeting organized in Bonn (June 2013).

The SME associations and SMEs espressed their satisfaction regarding the work performed for 42 months, the Project results and the Impact of the Project.

2nd Bioeconomy Forum: Science, Industry and Communication

IQ-Freshlabel participated in the Retailers & AgroFoodchain COMMNET BUSINESS DIALOGUE on 1st October 2013 in Brussels, taking place during the 2nd Bioeconomy Forum.

The 2nd Bioeconomy Forum elaborated on the communication issues of the bioeconomy. High-level experts gave keynote speaks on “hot-topics” such as food security, maritime littering and genetic plant breeding to encounter climate change. A panel discussion on bioeconomy topics and their communication included consumer groups and politicians. In workshops, EU research projects from the bioeconomy field showcased success stories of communication and technology transfer.

The event was organized by CommNet, the research communication network on the Bioeconomy.

The Bioeconomy Forum is of free entrance; it is co-organized as side event of the EFIB - The European Forum of Industrial Biotechnoloy, addressing more than 10.000 professionals in the sector. The 2nd Bioeconomy Forum is held in the Brussels – centre top-location, The Square, Place Coudenbergh, next to the Central Station and the Bus Stop “Royale” resp.“Bozar”.

Keep-it – the durability indicator

Keep-it is affixed to the packaging and you can read the shelf life of the food product from the moment it has been made by the manufacturer until it is placed in the household’s refrigerator. A blue-coloured strip gradually spreads across the indicator depending on the length of time and temperature the product has been exposed to. The process is slowed down with lower temperatures and accelerated with higher temperatures.

AIPIA congress “Packaging technology as the new marketing tool”

IQ-Freshlabel participated in the AIPIA Congress ‘Packaging Technology as the new Marketing Tool’ that was be held at FACHPACK in Nuremberg, Germany (23, 24 and 25 September 2013).

Workshops covered the full range of A&IP activities and topics including:

 Ø Supply Chain Efficiency

 Ø Retail Solutions

 Ø Increasing Sales

 Ø Innovative Materials

 Ø Food waste

 Ø Anti-Counterfeiting

 Ø Pharmaceuticals

 Ø Nanotechnology


Marie Shrestha (ttz Bremerhaven) and Yoav Levy (Freshpoint) held each a presentation in Food waste session.


For more information please visit:



International conference on predictive modeling in food

The French institute for pig and pork products (IFIP) co-organized the “8th International Conference on Predictive Modeling in Food” that took place 16th-20th September 2013 in Paris. IQ-Freshlabel participated in the conference.

The aim was to bring together food processors, innovative researchers and young scientists working to enhance food quality and safety with a special focus on the transfer activities towards food business operators, addressing the global challenges that predictive modelers and risk assessors are facing in the food quality and safety field.



Early registration: March 1st 2013

Late registration: June 15th 2013


For more information please visit the website:



36 months meeting- IQ-Freshlabel: technical discussion

The 11th of June 2013, the project partners met along the 5th International Cold Chain Management Workshop in Bonn to discuss the latest progress achieved since the last meeting organized in Paris (January 2013).

The RTD performers discussed the main achievements and up-coming work in the field of

- Oxygen sensor and Aluminium TTI development for MAP poultry products,

- Critical TTI development for frozen fish products,

Additionally the coordinator reported about further training planned by the SME-AGs with SMEs and consumers and about upcoming dissemination activities.


26th IAPRI Symposium on Packaging 2013

IQ-Freshlabel participated with an oral presentation to the 26th IAPRI Symposium on Packaging 2013 that washosted by VTT Technical research Centre of Finland from June 10-13th 2013. The symposium was arranged under the banner of "Towards safe and sustainable solutions".

For more information please visit:


Cold Chain Management Workshop

The 5th International Workshop "Cold Chain Management" organized by the University of Bonn took place on June 10th-11th, 2013 in Bonn.

IQ-Freshlabel participated in the workshop.

Cold Chain management has become more and more important in national and international supply chain management strategies. The key objectives of cold chain management are to ensure food quality and safety of perishable food-products while the food waste gets minimized and all logistic processes get optimized. The scope of cold chain management ranges over the whole supply chain from production to consumption. Thereby the implementation of innovative technologies and methods to monitor quality and safety parameters from production to consumption is from vital importance. This includes methods and models to asses and to prolong shelf life like predictive food and risk models, new sensor technologies or intelligent packaging solutions.

Since food quality, safety and shelf life are mainly influenced by environmental conditions during transport and storage, a detailed knowledge about the variations of environmental factors, the monitoring and their influence on the spoilage process are also key aspects in cold chain operations.

But, for an effective cold chain management system, a good analysis and a good management of the generated data and information is very important for the decision making processes of companies which is still a great challenge for all stakeholders. Caused by the short shelf life times of the products and the high energy consumption in cold chains, aspects like food waste and resource management have to be included in the common cold chain management strategies from production to consumption.

More information:


Training Workshop in Greece on 17th April 2013

The greek consumer’s association EKPIZO and the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology School of Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens are organizing a workshop about Smart labels and consumers benefits on 17th April 2013 in Athens.

2nd IIR International Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain

The IQ-Freshlabel project was represented from April 2 to 4 in Paris at the ICCC2013, 2nd IIR (International Institute of Refrigeration) International Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain. Prof. Taoukis presented the paper MONITORING AND OPTIMIZATION OF THE CHAIN OF CHILLED AND FROZEN FOOD PRODUCTS WITH TTI SMART LABELS (see program Thursday April 4, 1st morning session) as dissemination activity of IQ-Freshlabel work.



Eco-Value by Packaging” Seminar


On the 19th March 2013, Dr Kyösti Pennanen, Senior Scientist in Nutrition and Consumer Behavior at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland presented the IQ-Freshlabel consumer study findings to the audience of the “Eco-Value by Packaging” Seminar organized by PTR.


The presentation “Smart packaging – Cool for sure” was presented in Finnish.



7th annual sustainability in packaging (March 13-15th 2013, Orlando)

IQ-Freshlabel will participate in the conference. Dr. Maria Smolander, Principal Scientist at VTT TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTRE OF FINLAND will hold a presentation titled “Smart Packaging - Printed Functionalities for Product Quality Indication”


Now in its 7th year, Smithers Pira's Sustainability in Packaging Conference, produced in association with Packaging Digest, has cemented its position as a key event for those in the packaging industry, with numerous networking opportunities, a robust exhibition area and presentations from leaders all over the supply chain. This is the forum to share ideas, learn from successes and challenges, get inspired, create partnerships and continue the dialogue with the industry colleagues about the collective sustainability challeng


More info on the PIRA conference:





30 months meeting- IQ-Freshlabel

The 30th of January 2013 thirteen of the seventeen project partners met in in the IFIP facilities in Paris to discuss the latest progress achieved since the second year meeting organized in Gothenburg (June 2012).

The RTD performers presented the main achievements in the field of

- Oxygen sensor and Aluminium TTI development for MAP poultry products,

- Critical TTI development for frozen fish products,

- Socio-economic Impact of the implementation of the smart labels.

- Further training planned by the SME-AGs with consumers

- Upcoming dissemination activities


A very constructive discussion took place along the workshop summarising the socio-economical benefits and the risks of smart labels application to food product from perspective of different actors of the supply chain organized on the 29th January by partner VTT. All the partner attending the meeting were really pleased about the project running (management, training, dissemination and scientific results) as conform to the very positive comments received by the officer and reviewer during the review meeting held in Brussels on 24th October 2012.

IQ_Freshlabel at the Norwegian Seafood Industry conference - 22nd and 23rd January 2013.


Sjømatdagene is the biggest conference performed in Norway oriented to the Norwegian Seafood industry. It gathers about 400 participants for the industry, government and RTD. The conference is focused on politics, economy and academic/practical issues for the seafood industry.

The program conference:

To sign up for the conference please visit:

(Information available in Norwegian.)

Information about TTI and IQ-Freshlabel in the Quaternaly News of the Anuga FoodTec (international supplier fair for the food and drink industry) -article in German-


University of Bonn published an information article about the State of the art regarding TTIs, their implementation and their acceptance by the consumer in the quaternaly News of the Anuga FoodTec (October 2012).

Article available only in German language.



New Smart Label launched...

A new colour changing label which tells consumers how fresh their food is could hit supermarket shelves in the UK next year.

As described on the website of the supplier ( the label is indicating the time passed since the first opening of the product. The influence of temperature is not considered. The label might therefore be poorly adapted to indicate safety of temperature-sensitive products.

1st Training Workshop in Greece on September 26th


Second Year Meeting IQ-Freshlabel

From the 7th to the 8th June 2012 thirteen of the eighteen project partners met in the heart of the port of Gothenburg to discuss the latest progress achieved since the first year meeting organized in Athens in September 2011. The RTD performers presented the main achievements in the field of

-      Oxygen sensor and Aluminium TTI development for MAP food,

-      Critical TTI development for frozen food as well as

-      Socio-economic Impact of the implementation of the smart labels.


The participating SME association and SMEs were satisfied with the scientific results achieved in the project so far and see potential in the implementation of smart labels for the future. In order to promote further the implementation of novel smart labels answering the expectations of consumer, retailer and industry, the IQ-Freshlabel partners will intensify:

-      On the one hand, the training of technological level towards smart labels of the major food chain stakeholders in the addressed sectors of fresh MAP food as well as of frozen food products

-      On the other hand, the dissemination of information to increase general awareness by the SMEs and the society in general in order to increase the chance of successful implementation of smart labels.

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