To be as safe as possible, it's best to check and double-check food and produce you're about to eat for signs of spoilage. But, sometimes product expiration dates can leave us astray. Every year, we throw away millions of tons of food because the "best before" dates on products have passed.

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have developed plastic sensors that detect whether food has gone bad or is still good to eat.

The creators of the ultra-low-cost plastic circuits suggest food manufacturers can incorporate these sensors into packaging, so consumers can read them with scanners or mobile smartphones.

Researcher Eugenio Cantatore of Eindhoven University of Technology writes this: “In principle that’s all already possible, using standard silicon ICs. The only problem is they’re too expensive. They easily cost ten cents. And that cost is too much for a one euro bag of crisps. We’re now developing electronic devices that are made from plastic rather than silicon. The advantage is you can easily include these plastic sensors in plastic packaging.”

[via PSFK]