A time temperature indicator (TTI) is a device or smart label that shows the accumulated time-temperature history of a product. Time temperature indicators are commonly used on food, pharmaceutical, and medical products to indicate exposure to excessive temperature (and time at temperature).[1]

In contrast, a temperature data logger measures and records the temperatures for a specified time period. The digital data can be downloaded and analyzed.


By timespan

The basic types of time-temperature indicators include:

Digital temperature data loggers are available to indicate the full temperature history of a shipment to help identify the time period that out-of-tolerance temperatures were encountered. This temperature history can be used to calculate the loss of shelf life or the likelihood of spoilage. These small recorders are also used to identify the time (and thus location) of a shipment when the problem occurred, which allows for corrective action.

By technology

There are a large number of different time temperature indicators available in the market, based on different technologies. To the degree that these physical changes in the indicator match the degradation rate of the food, the indicator can help indicate probable food degradation.[4]

TTIs in the food industry

Time-temperature indicators can be used on food products that are dependent on a controlled temperature environment. Certain technologies can also be used for frozen food and the cold chain.


Surveys within the European Union projects "Freshlabel" and "Chill-on" have shown positive feedback from consumers on the use of TTIs on food products. As TTIs help assure the cold chain of food products, they are expected to reduce the amount of food waste,[6] as well as reducing the number of foodborne illnesses.[7]


The World Health Organization regulates the use of TTIs for certain medical products. There is extensive regulation by the FDA on the use of TTIs on US seafood products.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Robertson, Gordon L (1993). Food Packaging: Principles and Practice. New York: Marcel Dekker. p. 375. ISBN 9780824701758.
  2. ^ Müller, Patricia; Schmid, Markus (2019). "Intelligent Packaging in the Food Sector: A Brief Overview". Foods. 8 (1): 16. doi:10.3390/foods8010016. ISSN 2304-8158. PMC 6352026. PMID 30621006.
  3. ^ "Important Techniques to Control Food Inventory - SIPMM Publications". publication.sipmm.edu.sg. 2021-07-15. Retrieved 2023-02-17.
  4. ^ Riva, Marco; Piergiovanni, Schiraldi (January 2001), "Performances of time-temperature indicators in the study of temperature exposure of packaged fresh foods", Packaging Technology and Science, 14 (1): 1–39, doi:10.1002/pts.521, S2CID 108566613
  5. ^ "Temperature Micro-T RFID Data Logger, COLD Temperature -40°C to 80°C, 200 PSI, Miniature". Phase IV Engineering Inc.
  6. ^ The food we waste (PDF). BBC News. April 2008. ISBN 978-1-84405-383-4. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 2, 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2023. ((cite book)): |website= ignored (help)
  7. ^ "WHO: Food safety and foodborne illness". www.who.int. Archived from the original on 12 January 2004. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Seafood HACCP". www.fda.gov. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03.

General References