Food waste is a serious problem in Germany, and the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture hopes to address it by implementing smart packaging into perishable food items. Beyond just using electronics in food packaging across Europe, the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture is pushing to remove best before dates entirely from packaging.
In Germany, citizens waste an estimated 82 kilograms of food per person annually. The Ministry believes that a big reason for this waste is due to the best before dates on packaging. Few know this, but best before dates don't actually denote expiry. Rather, the date refers to the amount of time that the food will retain its taste, smell, color, consistency, and nutritional value. However, a misunderstanding of that date causes people to throw out perfectly edible food.
The Ministry will eliminate these dates in favor of perishables packaging that has electronic chips built in which turn from green to red as they sense the food spoiling.