Dare They Sell You Stale Veggies Now!

In supermarkets where loads of veggies is stacked and dumped, freshness may not be a priority. Keeping a track of all that’s been brought in can be time consuming and not all buyers may have a knack for freshness count. The Fresh Code offers a simple solution to this problem; it’s an intelligent barcode with a graph that indicates the freshness level. As time passes by, the graph on the barcode keeps receding, till it finally reaches “0”; indicating that the veggie needs to be dumped and not sold.

Designers: Sisi Yuan, Yiwu Qiu, Lei Zhao, Qiulei Huang, Lijun Zhang & Weihang Shu

Fresh Code – Barcode For Freshness Indication by Sisi Yuan, Yiwu Qiu, Lei Zhao, Qiulei Huang, Lijun Zhang & Weihang Shu



  • reality says:

    surely the food itself will indicate to you if it can be eaten or not? this appears to be another uneccessary reliance on technology.

    • Radhika Seth says:

      I wouldn’t say that, Do you know that some vendors actually wax-coat apples so that they look fresh for a real long time, or that beaches are brushed and fluffed for the same purpose? even peas and other greens are dipped in dye to appear fresh…but thats the sad truth about most foods being sold. I hope i can find & send you the link to this documentary that I saw which showcased all this.

      • Pax says:

        Also, ground meat in those plastic packages? It may look a nice, bright, cheery, fresh reddish-pink … but the INSIDE might actually be quite grey.

        That’s because they can and will use DYES, to make the food appear fresher and more appealing.

  • Julia says:

    how about the price goes down with the freshness?

    • tas says:

      exactly my thoughts!
      if the freshness meter can do it, adding a price value reduction factor can be done on the same manner

      actually, this will ensure that the goods are get soled before they are totally non consumable 😛

  • Jon Cameron says:

    From a practical stand-point, it won’t work. Point of Sale systems are designed to allow a sale when the barcode fails. So the absence of a barcode, or a damaged barcode, will not impede the sale of the item.

    Try this: Go to your grocery store with a pen in hand. Pick up a package of meat, mark out the barcode and take it to the register. Enjoy your new purchase.

    There are four other problems. One, retailers penalize vendors for failed barcodes with fines as high as $100,000 per occurrence. Two, the barcode would not pass verification tests. Three, the UCC requires that all barcodes are readable. Four, the idea is already patented.

  • trybudi says:

    will it works?

  • Paul says:

    Food is rarely fresh anyway.

    Those lovely apples you eat all year round? They were picked last season.

    So the apples you buy just before apple season starts, are almost a whole year old.

    • Pax says:

      Um, no.

      Different foods come into season at different times during the year, in different _places_. Also, forced growth in hothouses.

      If it were possible to preserve an apple for most of a year, and have it appear to be 100% fresh when it arrived at the supermarket …wy wouldn’t the supermarket use the same technology to preserve apples for months on end?

      Indeed, why wouldn’t that technology have been introduced into our own homes, by now?

  • j says:

    does it already exist or is it just a suggestion?

  • baileys82 says:

    Does a sample exist?is it already on the market?

    is it already developed and tested?

  • Jon Cameron says:


    This concept already exists, is patented, and in the marketplace on hundreds of products.

    See http://www.pop-technology.com or search “thermochromic barcode.”

  • baileys82 says:

    but is it possible to find on any product in Europe? if yes, for example?

    thanks for your reply

  • Alexander K. says:

    Does freshness means quantity of water inside the fruit ? If this is so ….. we have the technology to do that . Any ideas ?

  • Alexander K. says:

    Does freshness means quantity of water inside the fruit ? If this is so ….. we have the technology to do that . Any ideas ?

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