LUXEMBOURG – International manufacturer of caps and closures, United Caps has launched Touchcap closures in collaboration with Mimica in a bid to reduce food waste.

The newly launched cap is reportedly designed for all types of perishable products, from food to pharmaceuticals, the cap is intended to reduce food waste and increase consumer food safety.

The concept for Mimica Touchcap began as a design project for Mimica’s founder Solveiga Pakštaitė, to make expiry dates inclusive to visually impaired people, before the realization that expiry dates drive large amounts of food waste.

According to the companies, the cap is a freshness indication that turns a product’s smooth surface into a rough one when it is no longer fresh.

United Caps says through testing and experimentation, Pakštaitė calibrated a gel that avoids contact with the product but allows the label to change from smooth to bumpy based on storage conditions and food profile.

United Caps CEO Benoit Henckes said: “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 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.

The company says the cap is a sustainable closure that consists of a base cap and over cap from United Caps, the activator and gel invented by Mimica, a bumps tray and the top foil label that becomes bumpy as food deteriorates.

The Mimica cap arrives at the filling line in two parts: The base cap, tested by filling line manufacturers and requiring minimal changes to the filling line; and the over cap applied after the filling process with a dedicated machine integrated into the production flow.

United Caps claims the top cap where the bumps will appear is dormant until it is activated by the consumer, which happens automatically when the cap is twisted open for the first time.

CEO Henckes added: “If just two days of shelf life could be added to food products, retail waste could be cut by 50%, and home waste of perishable products could be cut by 63%.”

The company states the cap is currently undergoing a pilot project in the UK with an orange juice brand.

United Caps adds that through this pilot and other company research, it was determined that the total annual waste of juice in the UK was 121 million kilograms, with a Mimica Touchcap waste reduction potential of 44%, equating to 53 million kilograms.

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