The new intelligent cap is designed for all types of perishable products to reduce food waste and increase consumer food safety


United Caps will be demonstrating Mimica Touchcap at the upcoming drinktec show in Germany. (Credit: UNITED CAPS)

Caps and closures maker United Caps has partnered with start-up Mimica to develop new Touchcap closures designed for accessibility and food waste reduction.

Designed for all types of perishable products, from food to pharmaceuticals, the cap is intended to reduce food waste and increase consumer food safety.

Mimica Touchcap is a freshness indication that turns a product’s smooth surface into a rough one when it is no longer fresh.

United Caps said that the idea for Mimica Touchcap was to make expiration dates inclusive of the visually impaired before realising that expiry dates also contribute to food waste.

Mimica aimed to design a label that can be understood by the visually impaired and intellectually challenged while still providing real-time information on the state of the food.

The group was able to calibrate a gel, which never touches the product, and can shift a specialised label from smooth to bumpy depending on storage circumstances and food profile.

The United Caps and Mimica teams collaborated to create this 100% recyclable cap for a quick and simple option to verify food quality without affecting the capacity to recycle bottles.

It includes a sustainable closure made of a base cap and over cap from United Caps, an activator and gel developed by Mimica, a bumping tray, and a top foil label that wiggles when the food goes bad.

The top cap, which will eventually develop bumps, remains dormant until it is triggered by the customer, which takes place automatically the first time the cap is cranked open.

United Caps CEO Benoit Henckes said: “Throughout our history, we have invested heavily in innovation and R&D, and we view this innovation from Mimica as a game changer, one that has a profound effect on how caps are used, their contribution to the reduction of waste and carbon emissions and their ability to drive purchase.”

The firm is conducting a pilot trial for the cap in the UK with a company that makes orange juice.

The finding revealed that 121 million kilos of juice were wasted yearly in the UK alone, with a Mimica Touchcap waste reduction potential of 44%, or 53 million kilos of juice annually.