DSM investment marks push into smart packaging

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dsm, Food, Food safety

In a sign of the increased emphasis being put on food safety, Royal
DSM has invested in a sensor manufacturing company.

DSM Venturing, a unit of the Netherlands-based ingredients firm, said the investment in Food Quality Sensor International (FQSI) would allow the company to incorporate the technology into packaging for fresh products such as meat and poultry. DSM said the FQSI deal marked the company's first equity investment in specialty packaging, one of the segments management has identified as an emerging business area to target. A company spokeswoman told FoodProductionDaily.com that DSM had taken a "significant" minority stake in FQSI so as to access the company's sensor technology. DSM will leverage the FQSI technology in its development of new intelligent packaging. The company is also working with other companies, universities and others in developing the new business. "Responding to trends such as growing food quality awareness, increasing interaction between a product and its packaging and upcoming changes in regulations, DSM's specialty packaging group is working on the development of breakthrough packaging solutions for food products with innovative barrier properties relating to freshness, release of odors, and the ability to monitor the history of the product,"​ the company said in a statement. FQSI is a US-based company which develops and commercialises technologies to detect the freshness levels of perishable foods. FQSI's latest product is SensorQ, a stick-on sensor label applied by the meat packer to the inside of meat and poultry packages. The label detects the gaseous byproducts of food-borne bacteria growing inside the package. "The technology correlates to US and international standards of meat and poultry spoilage and is the only concept known to date to be able to sense freshness of meat in a cost-effective way,"​ DSM stated. FQSI is currently in the final stages of testing and validating SensorQ and expects to launch the product later this year, DSM stated. The investment in FQSI provides DSM a window on the market in food packaging in the US, stated Tony de Vrught, vice president for EBA Specialty Packaging, a company unit. 'This is an important milestone for our activities in this new market,"​ he stated. "Next to our investment, FQSI will be one of the companies we will work with to develop intelligent packaging concepts." ​DSM Venturing is DSM's investment arm. The unit's mission is to explore emerging markets and technologies. The unit is also active in the development of several new businesses DSM has identified as emerging areas of growth. In addition to specialty packaging the company is also developing businesses in the areas of biomedical, industrial biotechnology, and personalised nutrition.

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