Tetra Pak works on smart milk cartons

Tetra PakWhile putting on a big public showcase of its “existing-tweaked-future” technology at the triennial Anuga FoodTec expo in Cologne this week, it has been reported that Tetra Pak is developing a smart carton that will alert consumers when milk is past its best consumption. The carton will change colour when the milk is left out of the refrigerator for too long.

The smart cartons will be the latest innovation to improve food safety from the Swedish but Swiss-based company as demand for sustainable packaging increases.

According to the Financial Times, the company is developing a chip that can be embedded in the cartons while containing information about how long the product has been out of the fridge.

The chip could then be scanned by a mobile phone to show details about the farm and cow that had produced the milk, in a partnership with Brazilian food co-operative Aurora.

Tetra Pak has also announced that its net sales were up five per cent to €10.36 billion (£8.6 billion) over the last financial year.

In 2011, the company supplied packaging for more than 76 billion litres of milk, juice and other drinks.

“We are committed to supporting our customers, retailers and suppliers over the long term and will continue to invest in products, services and facilities that look beyond tomorrow, while also making sure we deliver what is needed today,“ said Dennis Jönsson, president and chief executive of Tetra Pak.

He added: “Resources are becoming scarcer and, with costs being higher, it is important to … do more with less.”