Rather than throwing out food that is perfectly edible an innovation, originally created for blind people to determine food quality, may help reduce food waste.
When the food is fresh to eat, the label is smooth and curved, but when it has decayed, a plastic bump emerges when fingers are run over it. Stretching beyond the needs of blind people from where the idea originated, the new labelling is being offered as an alternative to traditional best before and expiry dates. Pakstaite claims it will give a more accurate indication of freshness and save on wastage from consumers throwing out produce which may be good to eat despite being past the date on the packaging. According to the UK government, £12bn worth of food and drink is binned each year, most of it edible. And it is a worldwide problem. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN estimates that one-third of all food which is produced for human consumption is wasted.