It will soon be easier to tell if products such as condoms are no longer safe to use, with Pennsylvania-based 3B Packaging (3BP) awarded a patent for damage-detecting smart packages.
3BP’s damage-indicating packaging, designed for the condom, pharmaceutical, food, and cannabis markets, incorporates colour-changing technology that alerts consumers when the product inside has been damaged by heat, time or air, due to contamination or tampering; it can also help manufacturers detect counterfeits. Depending on the application, the dye can change colour within minutes or days.
“3BP is not reinventing the packaging wheel, we’ve just figured out a way to make it safer,” said Auguste Jacques, co-founder.
The oxygen-detecting dye in the packaging can be customised according to manufacturers’ requests, and provides consumers with a visible deterrent unlike the previous standards of an air bubble or expiration date. The ink is printed on an extra layer in the interior or exterior of the packaging, preventing direct contact with the product, says 3BP.
“The process provides safety and quality assurance to end users and benefits manufacturers, distributors and retailers by decreasing waste and financial loss due to returned merchandise,” the company said.
3BP is now working on more advanced track and trace technology as it looks for partnerships and investors.