The European Union (EU) Council of Ministers has approved an EU regulation on materials and articles in contact with food, allowing the use of 'intelligent materials' that inform consumers about the freshness of products.

The legislation requires adequate labelling, so consumers eat, prepare and store packaged food correctly. Furthermore, the legislation bans substances used to mask food spoilage, for instance packaging that releases aldehydes or amines.

Also food contact materials that change food colours in ways that could mislead consumers are also banned by the regulation, agreed with the European Parliament. Covering materials that are consumed with the food are not affected.