Insignia Technologies will go ahead with trials in the US, UK and Europe after renewed interest with a sizeable cash investment.
The Scottish firm, which was launched in August last year, has created a ‘smart pigment’ label, which changes color to show how long a packet of food has been open to minimize food waste.
It has received nearly $1m from companies including Equity Gap, Highland Venture Capital, the Scottish Investment Bank, the University of Strathclyde and private investors to complete trials with supermarkets and packaging companies.
'Unnecessary food waste'
David Kilshaw, CEO, Insignia, confirmed the cash gives the company a reason to start customer trials in the UK, US and Europe and drive the business forward.
"Removing the confusion around how long a pack has been opened reduces unnecessary food waste while restoring consumer confidence in certain food categories which in turn drives repeat purchase and increased sales," he said in a statement.
"The investment provides the necessary funding to drive the development program being carried out by our technical team, with regards to the existing technologies, as well as future research projects.”
The company, based in Lanarkshire, was founded as a result of a merger between Dundee-based Insignia Pack and Novas Technologies , a University of Strathclyde spin-out company.
Insignia Pack previously developed intelligent inks for use as sensors in food packaging, while Novas Technologies are experts in smart pigment technology.
Novas CO2 Indicator Pigment is a specialized pigment which shows a clear color change when packaging has been damaged on products packed in a modified atmosphere.
Plans for expansion
This means manufacturers and retailers in the dairy, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables sector can remove a product from the supply chain before it reaches the supermarket shelf.
Insignia will initially target the food production and processing sector, but has plans to expand into other areas including healthcare, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
When it launched, the company received $160k from SMART:SCOTLAND (contributing to a total project cost of $219,491), and $1k of Young Innovative Enterprise funding (supported by the European Union).