Sensing Packaging Design

Problem Scenario: You are at your local grocery store, shopping for fresh fruit. At the strawberry section, you take your time picking up a couple of different containers and looking all around them to make sure you buy a fresh container of strawberries with no mold or rotten fruit. You think you find the perfect container, so you purchase it. At home as you wash and cut your new strawberries, you find three moldy strawberries in the center of the container, hidden by the rest of the good strawberries. Now you have several moldy strawberries and not enough good strawberries for your recipe.

 

Solution Idea: Produce packaging that uses microbiological indicators to sense the presence of mold within the containers. The indicators will trigger a color change on the outside of the package to indicate to the consumer whether or not the container has moldy produce within it somewhere.

 

Research: Small sensor chips embedded within the produce packages detect shifts in the pH which signifies mold growth. Any changes to pH send a signal to the indicator to which all the chips are connected to to at the top which will then change color.