Sunderland firm develops edible codes

Stephen Chapman's picture

A North East firm has developed an edible, scannable code, which it believes will “revolutionise” the weekly food shop.

Label Says has created the edible printed ink, which can be added directly onto food stuffs, the code can then be scanned, to provide information about each item - its origin, production, ingredients, recycling and allergy guidance.

The information is available when each product is scanned by an app, which then provides an AR experience about the food.

The product is the brainchild of North East businessman Peter Woods, who’s been working in collaboration with the University of Sunderland, and supported by funding through the GX project, a two-year business innovation programme part of the legacy from last year’s Great Exhibition of the North.

“The way we buy our food will drastically change in the coming years,” explained Woods.

“Climate change, as well as the demand from customers, is driving supermarkets and other food providers to drastically reduce their packaging. The application we have developed enables customers to get the relevant information they need about nutrition, sourcing allergies and how to dispose of any waste, without the need for excessive packing. Ultimately it is better for the customer, the food supplier and our planet.”

Associate Professor Watson, Leader for Innovation and Technology Transfer and Academic Industry collaboration, added:

“Working with Label Says Ltd is a clear demonstration of how our University co-collaborates effectively with external partners.

"The project hinged on two very talented students working in the area of augmented reality, and we were exceptionally lucky to have Daniel and Dominic who have proved themselves in the commercial arena.

“We all worked as a team and have grown from this project, there was a great synergy felt by all from our group dynamic. We are now at a stage where we can pitch the product to the food industry.”

22-year-old Dominic, who graduated in July was behind the app’s software:

“My final-year dissertation was based around augmented reality and gamified software, so this project fitted perfectly with what I’d been learning during my degree. It’s been a fantastic opportunity and hopefully enhanced my future prospects.”

Label Says is now in the process of being patented.

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