Visible confirmation of treatment is possible using a pressure-sensitive ink.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A new technology developed by Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) allows food companies that utilize high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) to verify that the safety intervention has been applied to a product by using a printing technology that indicates when a package has been treated. Clear ink is applied to the exterior of the package and it becomes bolder and clearly visible after HPP exposure. The technology can also indicate what level of pressure the product was exposed to.

HPP adoption has been prevalent among meat and poultry processors and it is also widely used by manufacturers of non-meat food products, beverages and pharmaceuticals. But according to Patrick Edson, CTI’s chief marketing officer, companies relying on HPP can ill afford to have products mistakenly slip through the HPP supply chain without being treated. 

“Customers tell us, ‘We only need one package to bypass the HPP machine and show up at a restaurant, and we have a huge problem,’” Edson said, adding that foodservice operators can quickly confirm the products have been treated after a quick visual inspection. The verification can also be used by regulatory officials to confirm HPP treatment and can eliminate the threat of counterfeit claims.

“If you’re the vice president of food safety at a large restaurant or grocery franchise with a national supply chain, you are managing a significant risk profile of millions of units of food packaging being delivered to your business under the assumption it has been processed through HPP,” said Edson. 

CTI uses conventional methods of application of the pressure-indicating inks and it offers water-based and ultraviolet-cured inks. Solvent-based inks could be developed in the future, pending demand.