The Norwegian “green packaging” company, TimeTemp AS, intends to develop, produce and market freshness and quality indicators to the pharmaceutical industry that can be attached to cartons or pallets to determine the shelf life of a product.
The company claim TimeTemp’s patented ‘intelligent’ technology, based on physical and chemical reactions, will allow users to monitor the time and temperature of a product, providing an accurate indication as to when temperature sensitive pharmaceutical is about to expire, thus reducing waste.
“The reaction will show time left before expiration of that particular product in accordance to the actual degradation of the temperature sensitive product,” Lars Ove Brenna, a spokesperson for TimeTemp told in-pharmatechnologist.
The indicators feature a graphical user interface, in the form of a small label, made from natural and environmentally friendly plastic containing non-toxic chemical liquids, which react and change colour dependant on time and temperature.
“This chemical reaction will ‘copy’ the deterioration of a product and show this to the end user in an easy-to-read, graphical way,” he said, further explaining that the device can accurately confirm a product has not been exposed to handling conditions beyond its specification.
This is a design feature Ove Brenna believes is unique to TimeTemp, enabling “a continuous review of days left before expiration according to actual time and temperature exposure on each consumer package.”
He believes this ensures precise temperature and quality control which extends from production to the patient, also suggesting the device can cut costs for researchers, drug manufacturers and retailers by reducing their levels of waste.
TimeTemp, established, in 2001 and based at The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), has currently produced a prototype of the device, and expect to bring the product to market in 2011. The opportunity to develop its packaging technology arose after Investinor invested approximately mNOK 18 in the company.