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Food Product Traceability by Using Automated Identification Technologies


Abstract and Figures

Food product traceability from harvesting, through food processing to the final food product and through the retailer to the end consumer is a significant process that has to ensure food quality and safety. The traceability enables the end consumer to get information from all previous stages of the food product, leading back to the food origin. In this way, the consumer can get more information on the specific product, and thus make a decision on buying the product that suits his needs best. In each stage of the food product transformation, important data are generated for the subsequent chain participants. Every participant should have access to certain data of interest to them. This can be achieved by using automated identification technologies, like RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) and two-dimensional barcode, which allow faster data acquisition, recording and reading processes than the traditional means, and provide up-to-date information in each product stage. Furthermore, these technologies allow the possibility to record large amounts of data for each specific product, and interconnect all the data in a database. This paper discusses the process of providing traceability of food products, recording, transmitting and reading of significant data in specific stages of food product chain, with the application of automated identification technologies, including the possibility of obtaining additional data from a database, according to appropriate access level of each participant in the chain. Advantages and disadvantages of automated identification technologies are discussed, with the proposition for using specific technologies in certain food product stages.
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L.M. Camarinha-Matos, S. Tomic, and P. Graça (Eds.): DoCEIS 2013, IFIP AICT 394, pp. 155–163, 2013.
© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013
Food Product Traceability
by Using Automated Identification Technologies
Ivana Šenk, Gordana Ostojić, Laslo Tarjan,
Stevan Stankovski, and Milovan Lazarević
University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 6, 21000
Novi Sad, Serbia
Abstract. Food product traceability from harvesting, through food processing
to the final food product and through the retailer to the end consumer is a
significant process that has to ensure food quality and safety. The traceability
enables the end consumer to get information from all previous stages of the
food product, leading back to the food origin. In this way, the consumer can get
more information on the specific product, and thus make a decision on buying
the product that suits his needs best. In each stage of the food product
transformation, important data are generated for the subsequent chain
participants. Every participant should have access to certain data of interest to
them. This can be achieved by using automated identification technologies, like
RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) and two-dimensional barcode, which
allow faster data acquisition, recording and reading processes than the
traditional means, and provide up-to-date information in each product stage.
Furthermore, these technologies allow the possibility to record large amounts of
data for each specific product, and interconnect all the data in a database. This
paper discusses the process of providing traceability of food products,
recording, transmitting and reading of significant data in specific stages of food
product chain, with the application of automated identification technologies,
including the possibility of obtaining additional data from a database, according
to appropriate access level of each participant in the chain. Advantages and
disadvantages of automated identification technologies are discussed, with the
proposition for using specific technologies in certain food product stages.
Keywords: Food traceability, RFID, 2D barcode, QR code.
1 Introduction
Great competition within the food market forces the food producers to introduce
technologies and principles that make their products more competitive. Studies show
that the customers rather chose quality over price in food product, as shown e.g. in [1]
where 72% of the respondents said that they are more concerned with quality than the
price of food. Similar situation is in Serbia, where an agency conducted research that
showed that the main reason for deciding on buying a specific product is its quality,
with 61% of interviewed customers [2]. The quality of food products is influenced by
156 I. Šenk et al.
the source and quality of raw food, but also by the processing and production
methods, the packaging and transport of semi-products and finished products. This
leads to the necessity for a traceability system that would enable tracking the food
product through the whole food chain, and also tracing the food end-product back to
its origin, which is recognized as forward and backward traceability.
The EU Regulation 178/2002, which took effect on January 1st 2005, set general
foundations for traceability requirements in food sector in the EU and at the national
level in EU member states [3]. According to this regulation, “traceability means the
ability to trace and follow a food, feed, food-producing animal or substance intended
to be, or expected to be incorporated into a food or feed, through all stages of
production, processing and distribution”. This regulation requires traceability of all
the abovementioned food products and ingredients, identification of preceding and
subsequent participants in the food supply chain, availability of this information to the
competent authorities upon demand, and labeling of food products that are ready for
the market.
The traceability system is supposed to enable all participants in the food chain to
trace food products at all times and to provide full history for the specific product [4],
which includes the source of all raw food, treatments to which it was exposed during
growing and harvest phase, processing, transport, etc. This system should also protect
the consumers from buying out-of-date food, food that contains allergens, religiously
prohibited food, etc. In the case of problems with safety and quality of a batch of food
products, e.g. appearance of dangerous substances or microorganisms, such a system
should enable withdrawal of these products from the market and prevent health
Traceability systems worldwide have been developed, but they lack standards,
companies develop their own systems which are different, and are producing different
economic results [5]. Such systems are mainly developed internally within one
company or within large food production chains, and they lead to large information
gaps between the participants in the food chain. On the other hand, Daives (as cited
by [6]) states that 62.2% of European food companies are small and medium
enterprises, they produce the largest amount of food products, but cannot expect the
potential benefits from implementing traceability systems in comparison to the cost of
work needed for implementing such a system, as they are not connected into a unified
information system, which would allow efficient and transparent information flow in
supply chains.
One of the challenges in traceability systems are means of storing and transferring
data between participants in the food chain. Traditional systems include
alphanumerical identification of food products, but such systems require manual
identification of products, and are time consuming. Automated identification
technologies such as barcode and RFID technologies enable automation of
traceability systems and faster and less expensive data collection and transfer. These
technologies can thus help overcome problems that exist with traditional traceability
systems, and enable full integration of data in a food product chain. RFID and
barcode technologies have become widely implemented in many areas due to the
increasing availability of devices and systems that enable data collection through
Food Product Traceability by Using Automated Identification Technologies 157
these technologies. The main challenge in implementing a traceability system based
on automated identification technologies is the fact that food products greatly vary
from one product to another, regarding the aggregate state, amount of products in a
group package, methods of processing, packaging and transportation, storage
temperatures, key product data, etc. In order to create a unified system, all of these
features have to be taken into account, and the system set up in such a way that it is
adaptable to various conditions in food chains.
Taking into account all the abovementioned, several hypotheses can be set: an
automated identification system can be developed and applied for food product
traceability through different stages; data that are generated in different stages of the
food chain can be integrated in one database and thus can be used in subsequent
stages; the data generated using automated identification technologies are significant
for food safety. Research methodology that is applied for validating the hypotheses
includes analysis and synthesis for developing a concept for food traceability based
on automated identification technologies, and also experimental validation, that is
planned for fulfillment in the next phase of research.
2 Relationship to Internet of Things
In the world of globalization and interconnecting various areas into one integrated
whole, a very important aspect is the traceability of objects and linking important
information into a unique system that allows access to this information to various
users, to the appropriate extent. Such systems include systems for food products
traceability, which are specific as they can influence human health. A system for food
traceability discussed in this paper precisely allows interconnecting various data about
food products, from the means, place and time of the farming of raw food, through its
processing, packaging, transport and storing, and to its arrival to retailers and end
consumers. Such a system should enable storing of all key data in an adequate
database, and allow access to this database to various users and according to their
position in the food chain and their privileges to enable viewing and/or updating
specific food data. This system should be universal and applicable for different types
of food products, and to easily provide incorporation of new participants in the
process, in order to help the tendency for integration of all relevant data in a unique
system. The main purpose of such a system is the availability of all the key data to the
end user, which would enable them to more wisely choose products that they are
buying, in accordance with their wants, needs, restrictions (e.g. for allergic,
vegetarian, diseased consumer). Other very important aim of such a system is the
possibility of fast reactions in the case of contaminated batches of food (e.g. with
poisonous chemicals or bacteria), where the food can immediately be traced back to
its origin and further spread of the contaminated food can be blocked and the already
spread food withdrawn. Moreover, such a system can also help producers, as it
enables them to recognize the actual demand for products on the market, the amount
of their sold products as well as places and time when they are sold, which would let
them create better market strategies.
158 I. Šenk et al.
3 State of the Art
As automated identification technologies had become widely used in various areas for
tracking different types of objects, systems based on automated identification were
also created for traceability of food products.
In [7], a traceability system with the use of standard linear barcodes is presented,
on a case company in the baking industry that started applying barcode labels to the
cases and pallets in order to improve warehouse inventory system by recording
quantity, location and product identification numbers. This system also allowed them
to track the subsequent participants in the food chain, and help in risk situations when
batches with bad products were accidentally released. The authors state that improved
systems for product traceability can be achieved by using two-dimensional barcodes
or RFID technology.
In [6], the authors proposed an information infrastructure that enables traceability
in the food supply chain by the application of RFID technology. The presented
traceability system is cost effective and applicable in the chain of small and medium
enterprises, which have limited financial capabilities. Every participant in the food
chain has set up RFID readers. The data from food products is collected via RFID
readers and sent to the central database through an IP network. The central database
can be accessed through a web interface, and each participant in the food supply chain
can view the adequate data. The authors state that the greatest potential for RFID
application in a food supply chain is in particular in connecting different participants
in the chain.
In the meat processing industry [8], traceability systems have to enable tracing
meat along the complete chain, back to the origin, as various diseases can influence
the quality of meat. The traceability systems have to be considered the highest
priority, and not just legislation, in order to ensure safe and high quality meat for the
end consumer. In [9] a case traceability system for chicken meat is presented, that
integrates RFID technology with the information system. The system is applied
through the complete food chain, from the farm, through slaughter house and
processing factory, to the retailer. Food traceability data is gathered and registered
through RFID readers, and sent to the central database. At specific places there are
devices where a consumer can read data from the central database and get the required
In Japan [10], an integrated traceability system was developed for identification of
agricultural products and storing the key data from production to consumption stages,
by the application of RFID technology, mobile phones and web-based network
computing. This system enables farmers to input data for methods and materials used
in the production stage through their mobile phones, and store them in the production
database. Through the distribution stage, data is inputted to the distribution database,
and RFID tags or barcodes are applied to the individual products, and they connect
each product to the data in the production and the distribution database. End-
consumers can use their internet enabled mobile phones that have integrated RFID or
barcode readers to scan data from the RFID tags or barcodes, and access the database
with production and distribution data about the particular product.
Food Product Traceability by Using Automated Identification Technologies 159
The same author [11] has developed a unique database system that integrates the
previous production and distribution databases, and a visualization tool for
traceability of agricultural products in the food chain. This database system allows
changing of the ID tags of products through the chain, and concatenating all the
available data about the product. The author states that the major drawback in using
the RFID technology in a traceability system is the price of tags and devices used for
the transfer of data and the time needed for tagging and reading each product.
In [5] a traceability system is presented for a very expensive Italian cheese,
Parmigiano Reggiano. This cheese is produced in large cylindrical pieces. In the
presented traceability system, each cheese is labeled with one tag, which precisely
identifies the specific cheese. The authors state that this system is applicable and
effective as the price of the tag is irrelevant considering the price of the whole cheese.
They consider RFID a good solution for traceability of high-value products like
cheese or wine, while for the low-priced food products they propose systems still
based on alphanumerical codes or barcodes.
4 Research Contribution and Innovation
The main objective of this paper is to set up a framework for a unique food
traceability system that enables transfer of key product data through the entire product
transformation chain, which uses automated identification technologies: RFID and
two-dimensional barcodes. This framework should be adaptable to various food
chains according to the specific demands for traceability of particular products.
RFID technology has many advantages for implementation in automated
identification and traceability systems, such as the amount of data that can be
contained in a tag, high reading speed of data, possibility of simultaneous reading of
multiple tags, possibility of non-contact reading of data, etc. One of the major
disadvantages of RFID technology is the price of its implementation and of single
tags. This disadvantage affects the use of RFID technology in food product
traceability systems, as the price of an RFID tag would greatly affect the price of a
single food product. On the other hand, two-dimensional barcodes can store less but
still a significant amount of data, and are not costly like RFID tags. They have other
disadvantages, including the need for proximity of readers while reading labels,
inability of readers to simultaneously read multiple labels, etc. One of the most often
used two-dimensional barcodes is QR code, which can store a sufficient amount of
data, has very good readability even on small sized labels, and which also has very
good readability in case of physical damage of a part of the code. QR codes are
mostly used for recording a certain numeric code or a URL to the website that
contains information. In this paper the framework for a traceability system is
proposed that uses both the RFID and QR codes for food product traceability, in
which both the RFID and QR codes contain information about a particular product,
which is therefore immediately readable with the use of an adequate reader.
The traceability system framework presented in this paper includes all the possible
stages in a food chain, where the potential participants are: primary producers,
160 I. Šenk et al.
processing industries, transport, retail and the end-consumer (Fig. 1). In a specific
traceability system, it is not necessary that all of the above mentioned participants be
present, but the system can consist of any possible combination thereof. Each
participant in the chain represents a specific stage in the transformation of food.
At each of the transformation stages, specific data are generated that describe the
current processes, methods used, place and time, etc. Each product gets a unique ID
code, which is the primary key data for the product. All the important data at a
particular stage are assigned to the unique ID code of the product, and recorded in the
database, to which each participant in the food chain can connect via an IP based
computer network. If the new product is a combination of several ingredients, its
unique ID code is also connected to the ingredients’ unique ID codes in the database,
which enables traceability back to each raw product that is integrated in the current
food product. This way, the database contains all the existing data about a specific
product, which is also connected to the data originating from its ingredients. Also,
accessibility levels must be set, to define to what extent subsequent users can reach
specific product data in the database.
Moreover, at each stage, the key data is picked, which is significant for the
subsequent participant in the chain, and it is incorporated in the label for each product
in the form of a QR code. The QR code is chosen for this application as it can store a
sufficient amount of data, and at the same time it is small, but can be read even if
greatly damaged, can be placed on a sticker, and printed on many available printers.
Fig. 1. The concept for food product traceability based on automated identification technologies
An application rarely given to QR codes is the usage of their possibility of storing
a sufficient amount of data in a small space, and not just a numeric code or the
address of a website. For example, a QR code sized 25x25 mm which consists of
69x69 blocks, can store up to 321 characters of data. The data in the QR code can be
accessed by the appropriate reader, such as a dedicated two-dimensional barcode
reader or a smart phone with the adequate application. The mandatory data in the food
product QR code is a unique ID code that can connect the user to the correct data in
Food Product Traceability by Using Automated Identification Technologies 161
the database upon request. The important thing is that here the QR code is used for
tagging each single product, with the corresponding information related solely to it.
This enables the subsequent participant in the chain or the end consumer to easily
access the most important data about the product without the need for internet
connectivity, just by using a smart phone with the application for reading two-
dimensional barcodes, or a dedicated reader for two-dimensional barcodes. With the
increase of everyday usage of smart phones, many users could read such labeling to
immediately get the required information about the particular product. If such users
install the dedicated application for reading detailed information about products, they
can acquire additional information from the database through internet connection,
where they can check detailed information about the product or its ingredients at the
available accessibility level.
A specific situation occurs in transport, where large amounts of products are
simultaneously transferred between the participants in the chain. In the transport
stages, products are usually packed in larger group packaging, such as boxes, cases,
pallets, barrels, etc. or the products are themselves large. In transport, speed is a very
important issue, and if each product or a group packaging should be read with barcode
readers, it would require a lot of time. A possible solution to this challenge is to
additionally label transport packaging with RFID labels with the required information
about the contained products. The RFID technology enables storing of larger amounts
of data than two-dimensional barcodes, more RFID tags can be read simultaneously
and are readable from a distance with dedicated RFID readers. The disadvantage of
RFID technology is its price, which is the reason why it is not yet widely available for
identification and traceability systems of individual products. However, this
disadvantage is not so significant during the transport stage, as the product packaging
is usually large, and contains more products, therefore the use of a single RFID label
for the entire packaging would not drastically affect the price of individual products.
Furthermore, identification of RFID tags can be done automatically without the need
for additional workers for reading labels and registering the products. The
implementation of RFID tags during the transport stage would allow immediate
registration of sent and received packages, which must be integrated in the whole
information system for traceability of particular food products and synchronized
between all partners in the chain. This should again be done through the database,
where the particular products would get additional data about their new location.
5 Discussion of Results and Critical View
This paper provides a framework for a centralized unified system with the application
of automated identification technologies for food product traceability. By reviewing
the literature, no such complete system could be found, and on the other hand many
regulations, both national and worldwide, require complete traceability of food
products. There seems to be no single technology that can provide such a complete
system for various kinds of existing food chains, which leads to the conclusion that
several identification technologies must be integrated into a system where their
162 I. Šenk et al.
individual advantages will be used, and disadvantages suppressed or even avoided.
The proposed framework suggests exactly such a system, where two-dimensional QR
codes would be used combined with the RFID technology, using their possibilities for
easy integration into various information systems, large memory capacities for the
required data, easy printing and application to the products etc. This way the proposed
framework can be considered general for use in any food product traceability system.
The suggested traceability system based on automated identification technologies
must be implemented in various food product chains, and validation of the proposed
framework must be carried out in different conditions in order to reach the real impact
that the proposed solution potentially has.
6 Conclusions and Further Work
The paper presents a possible conceptual framework for combined application of QR
codes and RFID technology in a traceability system for food products. Such
traceability systems are very important as they provide the end consumer with
information from all the previous stages of the food product, including the
information about the origin of the product ingredients, the means and places of food
production and processes, the transportation and storage information, etc. By the
implementation of the proposed framework in a traceability system, the end
consumers can easily get important information about a particular product, and if
interested, they can check further information about the product from the database,
which enables them to make better decisions when choosing an appropriate product.
In order to validate the proposed framework, further work must include
experimental implementations in as many different food product chains as possible,
where also primary producers, food processing industries, transporters and retailers
must be included and educated to accept such a system upgrade and integrate it with
their current information infrastructures. Only by such real implementations,
challenges can be revealed that are not obvious in the theoretical analysis, the existing
problems can be solved and the system framework improved.
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A Quick Response Code (QR Code) aims to provide accurate and traceable information to consumers wanting to verify the quality of agri-food products. This study aimed to investigate the experiences and intentions of scanning QR Code in traditional markets and supermarkets. Furthermore, the types of egg information in the QR Code were explored to identify consumer interests when purchasing eggs. The empirical data were collected from 1112 valid responses throughout Taiwan from July to September, 2020. The Logit, Probit models, and the Bivariate Probit model were used to examine the data. Results showed that shoppers’ propensity to scan QR Code revealed a significant difference between traditional markets and supermarkets, i.e., supermarket shoppers having higher a propensity to scan a QR Code. Of the 10 types of potential egg information in the QR Code, over half of respondents said that the production certificate label and inspection information were the top reasons that they would be interested in scanning a QR Code. This was particularly the case for homemakers aged between 51 and 60 years old and those who had scanned QR Code before and would like to pursue more egg information. Since the egg producers have resisted joining the traceability system, the implication of this study provides very practical strategies for government, policy makers, and producers in Taiwan.
Today, the world faces a big challenge about food quality and safety. Consumers are becoming more careful during their food choices, focusing on food information. Drawing on the Industry 4.0 technologies and methodologies, food companies could adopt traceability systems that are able to collect various types of information along the food supply chain, to satisfy regulation but also to make their work transparent. With the aim of overcoming the current shortcomings in the food traceability framework (e.g., the absence of data visualisation solutions or tools for supply chain actors and consumers, adopting standards for external traceability and data identification, and fulfilling the four Industry 4.0 development dimensions), and considering the sustainability challenges, the aim of this study is to suggest a Framework for Voluntary Food Traceability based on digital technologies and explore its application by means of a case study in an organic olive oil company. The Framework, composed of three building blocks, allows the company to: map supply chain processes, identifying tasks and processes where data was generated, its format and the supply chain owner; select and use technologies to collect and analyse traceability data; and communicate to the end consumer comprehensible and useful food information.
Objective: To describe the systematization of the Nile tilapia cultivation process using a computer system for production and marketing traceability based on ISO 12877:2011 standard and web technologies. Design/methodology/approach: A documentary and field investigation were conducted to learn about the Nile tilapia production process currently applied; traceability was evaluated based on Double T and María del Carmen study cases, aquaculture farms located in the municipalities of Manzanillo and Armería located in the state of Colima, México; the process was contrasted with the ISO standard and the system was developed and implemented. Results: A Traceability System that records backward, internal, and forward procedural activities in the cultivation and marketing of tilapia. The system improves food safety control by registering lot care based on the ISO standard, resulting in well-defined traceable processes in the production and commercialization of the Nilotic tilapia. Limitations on study/implications: The results shown are related to the development and implementation of the system; however future work is yet to be carried out to assess its effect on the production and commercialization of farmed tilapia, as well as the efficiency of traceability. Findings/conclusions: The system was developed taking into consideration the necessary indicators for an ISO certification. Hence, aside from simplifying the registration and consultation of information, the producing company has the benefit of earning a certification for the aquaculture production process, creating additional value to its products.
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Hoạt động nuôi trồng thủy sản là một thế mạnh của người dân ở khu vực Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long. Làm cách nào để xác định được nguồn gốc, chất lượng một sản phẩm nuôi trồng thủy sản đang được bán trên thị trường rất được người tiêu dùng và các cơ quan chức năng quan tâm. Bài viết này đề xuất xây dựng một hệ thống thông tin hỗ trợ xác định nguồn gốc thủy sản bằng mã QR (Quick Response code). Để thực hiện quy trình trong hệ thống, trước hết người nuôi (nông dân) đăng ký mã QR tương ứng cho sản phẩm của mình, sau đó cập nhật các biến động trong suốt quá trình nuôi (ví dụ, theo mô hình Việt GAP). Khi thu hoạch, sản phẩm (thô hoặc qua chế biến) sẽ được dán mã QR trước khi phân phối ra thị trường. Người tiêu dùng (khách hàng) khi mua sản phẩm có thể dễ dàng truy xuất lại thông tin nuôi trồng thông qua việc quét mã QR từ điện thoại thông minh. Bên cạnh đó, hệ thống cũng quản lý và giới thiệu các loại thủy hải sản khu vực Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long nhằm hỗ trợ người dùng tra cứu và tìm kiếm thông tin. Sau khi phân tích, thiết kế, xây dựng và kiểm thứ hệ thống trên một số dữ liệu mẫu, kết quả cho thấy việc hoàn thiện và đưa vào sử dụng thực tế...
Authentication of food has been a significant concern for all members of the food system chain, including consumers, producers, and regulators since ancient times. Due to increasing public awareness regarding food quality and safety. Food authenticity is rapidly growing. This chapter critically presents the techniques which are used for authenticity assessment, explaining the technical and scientometric evaluation of them. Categorizing of different authentication techniques is based on authenticity indicators, providing insight into future developments. Automated and analytical evolutions are discussed, along with their applications on the authentication of food. Furthermore, the novel and promising technologies that emerged recently are discussed, along with their potentialities on food authenticity determination.
Numerous studies have been performed in food traceability, but there is no common, clear understanding of its theoretical concepts which are scattered and disjointed across the literature. Existing studies are mainly concerned with practical implementation and the theoretical concepts derive from that approach. As a result, various definitions, classifications and inconsistent principles have been proposed which hamper clear understanding and further development of the field. Thus, this study aims to coalesce the proposed and emergent fundamental concepts of food traceability in a generic theoretical framework. To this end, we have used an iterative approach to review and synthesize the papers in the field most relevant to our enquiry, consolidate proposed drivers and beneficiaries, highlight the main typologies, and as a result, propose a revised definition of food traceability and four associated principles. Different information is recorded in a traceability system, depending on the underlying drivers, for example, legislation, food safety, sustainability, or consumer satisfaction. In this paper traceability approaches are categorised by an iterative typology, as internal or external and the implementation of traceability systems is organised according to four consolidated principles: identification, data recording, data integration and accessibility. It is proposed that the collation of existing approaches into a cohesive theoretical framework will improve understanding and the effective implementation of food traceability systems.
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Food safety events occur frequently because of epizooty. Many countries build food traceability systems to solve these problems. However, the current food traceability system must be executed by paper work and need a lot of manpowers. It also cannot trace and tracking back the origin and destination of food. The fact that RFID technology can trace object, therefore, it can solve these problems. The method of this research integrates RFID technology on the food produce traceability system. Using RFID technology will be easy to trace each object, not only for the goods lots. RFID technology can also record all events automatically and acquire the information about the food production by handhold devices. The result of this paper is providing an integrated tactility system for the entire food supply chain by RFID technology. The benefit of this research can trace the food production, and let consumers get the complete food production information to choose and buy the safety food.
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The main objective of this work was the validation of a RFID smart tag developed for real-time traceability and cold chain monitoring for food applications. This RFID based system consists of a smart tag and a commercial reader/writer. The smart tag, attached on the product to be tracked integrates light, temperature and humidity sensors, a microcontroller, a memory chip, low power electronics and an antenna for RFID communications. These sensor logged data can be stored in the memory together with traceability data. A commercial reader/writer was used for reading and writing data on the smart tag, with a wireless reading distance of 10 cm, in real-time at any time of the food chain. The results concerning a demonstration of the system along an intercontinental fresh fish logistic chain are reported here. These results proved that this system presents important advantages regarding conventional traceability tools and currently used temperature data loggers such as more memory, reusability, no human participation, no tag visibility needed for reading, possibility of reading many tags at the same time and more resistance to humidity and environmental conditions.
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Purpose – This paper aims to study the main requirements of traceability and examine how the technology of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology can address these requirements. It further seeks to outline both an information data model and a system architecture that will make traceability feasible and easily deployable across a supply chain. Design/methodology/approach – The design research approach is followed, associating traceability requirements to a proposed system design. Findings – The technological approach used has great implications in relation to the cost associated with a traceability system and the ease of its deployment. Research limitations/implications – Validation of the proposed information data model and system architecture is required through practical deployment in different settings. Practical implications – The paper provides practitioners with insight on how RFID technology can meet traceability requirements and what technological approach is more appropriate. Originality/value – Food quality has become an important issue in the last decade. However, achieving end-to-end traceability across the supply chain is currently quite a challenge from a technical, a co-ordination and a cost perspective. The paper contributes by suggesting a specific technological approach, exploiting the new possibilities provided by RFID technology, to address these issues.
Purpose – The main objectives of the paper are to identify the needs in data that are considered as fundamental for the efficient food traceability and to introduce a generic framework (architecture) of traceability data management that will act as guideline for all entities/food business operators involved. Design/methodology/approach – The traceability system introduced is based on the implementation of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) technology. In the first stage, the necessary traceability data are identified and categorized. In the second stage, the selected data are transformed and inserted into a five-element generic framework/model, using PML (Physical Markup Language), which is a standard technology of XML. Findings – The assessment of information communication and diffusion underlines that the particular model is simple in use and user-friendly, by enabling information flow through conventional technologies. Practical implications – The main feature of this framework is the simplicity in use and the ability of communicating information through commonly accessible means such as the internet, e-mail, and cell phones. This makes it particularly easy to use, even when it comes to the base of the supply chains (farmers, fishermen, cattle breeders, etc). Originality/value – An integrated traceability system must be able to file and communicate information regarding product quality and origin, and consumer safety. The main features of such a system include adequate “filtering” of information, information extracting, from already existed databases, harmonization with international codification standards, internet standards and up to date technologies. The framework presented in this paper fulfills all the above features.
Conference Paper
In agriculture, it is required to establish and integrate food traceability systems and risk management systems in order to improve food safety in the entire food chain. The integrated traceability system for agricultural products was developed, based on innovative technology of RFID and mobile computing. In order to identify individual products on the distribution process efficiently,small RFID tags with unique ID and handy RFID readers were applied. On the distribution process, the RFID tags are checked by using the readers, and transit records of the products are stored to the database via wireless LAN.Regarding agricultural production, the recent issues of pesticides misuse affect consumer confidence in food safety. The Navigation System for Appropriate Pesticide Use (Nouyaku-navi) was developed, which is available in the fields by Internet cell-phones. Based on it, agricultural risk management systems have been developed. These systems collaborate with traceability systems and they can be applied for process control and risk management in agriculture.
Traceability is becoming a method of providing safer food supplies and of connecting producers and consumers. Recent diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) and the questions concerning genetically modified organism (GMO) mean systems that enable control of each link in the food chain have become particularly relevant. Furthermore, although EU law no. 178 came into effect on the 1st January 2005, at the time of writing the regulatory situation is very confused.The aim of this paper is to analyze legal and regulatory aspects of food traceability, and to provide a general framework for the identification of fundamental mainstays and functionalities in an effective traceability system.Possible technical resources were clarified by analyzing assessment criteria obtained from studies of alphanumerical codes, bar codes, and radio frequency identification (RFID).Finally, the paper presents the traceability system used by Parmigiano Reggiano (the famous Italian cheese) which was developed using the proposed general framework. Based on an integration of alphanumerical codes and RFID technology, the system is working well with very good results for both cheese producers and consumers.Some interesting observations concerning development trends and traceability system costs close the paper.
At pan-European level there is a need for traceability systems giving information on origin, processing, retailing and final destination of foodstuffs. Such systems shall enhance consumer confidence in food; enable the regulatory authorities to identify and to withdraw health hazardous and non-consumable foodstuffs from the market. Animal feeds are an element in this "food-to-farm" approach to public health. Such feedstuffs are preliminary elements of some foods for human consumption, and hence are an inherent element of the food chain. A harmonised pan-European food traceability protocol would greatly assist authorities in detecting fraud as well as dangerous substances. The food chain comprises a range of sequential and parallel stages bridging the full spectrum from agricultural production to the consumable foodstuffs by consumers. EU legislation on traceability and the technologies needed to implement this system for meat and meat products are the focus of this paper.
A database system and a visualization tool for agricultural product traceability based on RFID technology
  • K Sugahara
Sugahara, K.: A database system and a visualization tool for agricultural product traceability based on RFID technology. In: Proceedings of EFITA/WCCA, pp. 637-643 (2011)