Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Dye technology for measuring oxygen in sealed packages

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Dye technology for measuring oxygen in sealed packages
Dye incorporated in packaging film can indicate oxygen levels without the need for destructive testing.
In Use – Commercially available in USA.

Product Waste Reduction

Product Categories
Drinks, Food

Relevant Materials
Not Applicable

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars, Closures and dispensers (including: triggers, dosing aids, reseal and reclose devices etc.), Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Filling, Packing, Processing


A biotech company has developed new technology for measuring oxygen non-invasively inside sealed packages for the food, beverage, medical, pharmaceutical and electronics industries. Using remote optical interrogation, it eliminates destructive package testing and enables non-contact, rapid, real-time O2 measurements with highly specific responsiveness.
This innovative approach makes “smart packages” by incorporating a small amount of an oxygen-sensitive luminescent dye inside the package film itself. The technology is extremely diverse, capable of measuring O2 either in the gas phase environment of a dry package, in the headspace of a liquid package or of dissolved-oxygen in fluids and beverages. This enables significant application for flexible film packages, rigid containers, bottles, vials, caps and other sealed vessels.  The technology also allows for photostable, reversible response measurements that meet food safety laws while maintaining a low cost and large measurement range. 
Using the patented manufacturing process, O2-sensing polymer films can be made from nearly any grade of plastic designed for food, medical or electronics packaging.
The technology has been developed and marketed by Photonics Biosystems Inc of the USA.
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

This technology offers several potential environmental benefits for food manufacturers and packer/fillers, in particular:
  • Reduced losses from out-of-spec packaging
  • Elimination of product loss ude to sacrificial sampling of goods for test purposes.
Other benefits include:
  • Enablement of 100% QC/QA up to point of sale
  • More efficient operations and lower operating costs compared to alternative, invasive testing
  • Earlier identification of packaging equipment malfunction
  • Reduced risk of compromised brand image from flawed product entering the market
  • Prevention of counterfeit product entering the market

Intellectual Property

The O2 sensing polymer films have been patented by Photonic BioSystems, Inc., who are currently seeking licence candidates and welcomes interested parties to contact them directly.

Consultant View

This technology represents a useful additional tool to ensure product is despatched to consumers in good condition and that food spoilage is kept to a minimum. The ability to test packs non-destructively and rapidly will also accrue benefits in reduced cost and processing time.
Other non-destructive testing technologies are also being developed and readers interested in this subject are encouraged to search the REID database for other relevant entries using the search term "Monitoring and data capture".

Contacts and Further Information

Photonics Biosystems Inc
7126 180th Avenue NE
Suite C-106
Redmond WA-98052

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