Unlocking the true shelf-life of seafood – Mimica tag development from TRL4 to TRL7 (RD144)

Aim:

This project will calibrate and validate an existing technology for use with packaged seafood which indicates when it should no longer be consumed, thus reducing seafood waste.

Funding Amount:

£257,172

Duration of Project:

15 months

Project Summary:

Significant quantities of seafood are wasted due to temperature condition uncertainty in the supply chain. Expiry dates are major drivers of the £320m/29m kg of seafood wasted by UK households (WRAP, 2015), equating to emissions of 72.5m CO2e.

Mimica’s key innovation is a food freshness indicator called Bump, which provides a unique and inclusive tactile user experience (smooth = fresh, bumpy = spoiled). The IP-protected and award-winning gel chemistry mimics food spoilage. It can be calibrated to different time & temperature profiles to suit different foods. It thereby extends the real expiry dates according to how well the product has been kept, rather than relying on an overcautious fixed estimate. This both decreases waste, and increases sales by providing consumers more confidence in the true longevity of the seafood, offering sustainable benefits to all parties in the value chain.

Bump is already being scaled in the fresh juice market as a cap. The seafood market presents a higher impact application for Mimica. In this R&D project, Mimica will develop new gel formulations for the seafood sector, tag style format, activation mechanism, and packaging line application system.

This R&D project seeks to deliver the next three stages of product and system development, validation testing, and system demonstration required to reach TRL7 by the end of the 15 month project. The outcome will be the demonstration of 50-100 prototype tags on seafood packaging in the operational environment, with consumers testing the system in their homes and directly experiencing the benefits of the innovation.

STATUS: Ongoing

Project Lead

Mimica Lab Ltd