Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) has invented BlindSpotz freeze-warning technology, a new patent-pending technology that can be printed directly on a package that records if an individual pallet, case, or package has frozen. In partnership with American Thermal Instruments (ATI), the freeze-warning technology, that the company said can be economically printed on individual packages and save money by lowering product waste, is now available.
Products that can be damaged by freezing temperatures include fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meat, agricultural products, food home delivery and other types of mail or freight.
The integrity of the nation’s food supply is a crucial one. In 2017, the U.S. Department of
Current cold-chain technology can record temperatures between and 25°F and 39°F and cost around $3 per device, the company said, adding that BlindSpotz costs pennies per package. The capability embeds the technology into an ink system that can be incorporated into the existing printing process for packaging. “A big challenge is the reduction in food waste,” said Randall Lane, chief strategy officer at ATI. “Right now, if a truck delivering $50,000 in fresh produce is measured to be at 28° F during transportation, a customer’s internal policies will dictate if the shipment is rejected or accepted. With the BlindSpotz freeze indicator on individual packages or cases, the truck can be inspected and sorted.
“In this shipment for example, the technology may reveal that 30% of the truck’s packages are at risk, but the balance is fine,” he explained. “BlindSpotz prevents $15,000 in bad product from reaching the customer, but also saves $35,000 in good inventory being returned, dramatically cutting costs of product waste, out-of-stocks and logistics.”
The technology requires just one print station to be implemented, said Patrick Edson, CTI’s chief marketing officer. Extensive government regulations from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture require cold-chain monitoring on any food product affected by temperature. The ability to now record data and inspect at the package level is an economical improvement in monitoring and reporting.
CTI will handle the technical support for all on-package printing while ATI will manage the customer implementation of cold-chain monitoring and data in support of those opportunities.
BlindSpotz is designed to complement CTI’s existing cold-chain technology such as its Thaw Alert, High-Pressure Processing (HPP) verification, Heat Exposure, Heat Tampering, and Freeze Tampering indicators. ATI will use the technology to integrate with incumbent cold-chain monitoring solutions for customer implementation.
BlindSpotz is available in UV- and Water-based Flexo, Water-based Gravure, Wet Offset, UV-Wet Offset ink formulas, as well as finished devices. Additional technology for devices and on-pack printing is available to alert in event of thawing, warming outside of refrigeration specifications, high-heat damage, and tampering. For more information, visit https://www.blindspotz.com.