In a recent video report, Phil Lempert, “Supermarket Guru,” referenced a United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization statement indicating one-third of food gets spoiled or wasted.
That translates to approximately $1 trillion per year, or double the dollar volume of the grocery industry as a whole!
As you are most likely aware, to reduce food waste we have to control environmental conditions including temperature, moisture levels, and UV exposure all across the supply chain including on shoppers homes.
The Spoon reports that a group of researchers led by Giovanni Salvatore at ETH Zurich have developed a biocompatible microsensor that can be directly applied to food and is safe to eat. The sensor is made from a combination of edible materials such as magnesium and a compostable polymer made with corn and food starch.
But there is a problem – making them is currently very expensive, compared to pennies or even fractions of pennies for traditional RFID tags.
However, Salvatore predicts that these biodegradable sensors will be part of our everyday lives within 5 to 10 years.