The active ingredient of SafeLain Smart Expiration Indicators is a pigment called Betalain. Betalains are found in the plant order of Caryophylles which include many well know plants such as cacti, carnation, bougainvillea, beets and chard.
The plants may have used them as anti-fungal agents (Kimler, L.M, 1975) while humans have traditionally used the pigment as a dye for clothing and food. Nowadays they have drawn interest due to their health properties as an antioxidant.
Many studies have been done on the antioxidant nature of betalains. For instance, when a surface coat of red betalain has been applied to metals it reduced oxidation rates proportionally with concentration of pigement (El Gharras, H., 2011).
Indicaxanthin, a red betalain found in barbary fig, a type of prickly pear cactus, have been shown to reduce acute inflammation in rats. (Allegra M, 2014). In humans betalains may reduce LDL, a leading cause of heart disease. (Tesoriere, L)
These modern health discoveries along with the long history of use assure that the health of the consumer will not be negatively impacted. Along with ability to change color upon oxidation make it a uniquely suited drug and food quality indicator.