food traceability

Traceability in food industry for protecting food supply chain and food safety

Food traceability is known as the top technology in food industry. It enables smooth collaboration and interaction in the blockchain food supply chain.

These days economy is the world of international trade that food exchange across countries refers to be the norm. Expressly, due to the difference in soils and climates, food becomes specialties or valuable commodities in the supply chain. Unfortunately, the discrepancy in food technology emerging in farming and production led to food import/export complexities.

Additionally, in some countries, chemicals are abused in the food industry. Hence, it is raising about the food safety and sanitation in the market. Accordingly, food traceability or traceability in food industry is innovated to protect customer benefits. Today, with the development of food and beverage software and Internet connection, food traceability could be access in Real-time across the world.

Related article: Blockchain food supply chain

In this article, we would add valuable considerations, regarding traceability in food supply chain and food traceability template. Also, we would discuss some significance in FDA traceability requirements.

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Food traceability

The strict regulation, regarding food-related products, currently applied to deduct foodborne illnesses, especially in Europe and America. Hence, the technology of food traceability is not only able to check the origin of food products. It could also track the whole production journey within the food supply chain. The traceability in food industry is leveraged to pursue food control measures applied in many countries to keep food away from being contaminated. Currently, a common food traceability framework has been taking into consideration in the global supply chain network.

Traceability in food industry  

In general, traceability in food industry indicates the machinery’s capacity to capture the movement of food and its ingredients in farming and production progress. Food traceability act as a series of authority documents helping the regulation sector to detect the potential contamination point. It allows the timely removal of potential threats of foodborne illness outbreak out of the market.

In practice, the innovation of software development in food traceability involves two purposes:

  • Access the progress history of food and ingredient journey from farming to purchasing. Food traceability involves comprehensive details of what is involved in the food product and how secure it is for human health.
  • Accurately track the food origin or food identification, giving details of who is responsible for the food quality. Tracking feature commonly uses in final destination of food supply chain, benefiting final consumers.

Traceability in food supply chain  

In fact, within the length of Food supply chain, the volume of information consisted in food traceability cannot be short. To pursue consistency in access those data, traceability in food supply chain should follow the coincide framework. Currently, food traceability standard matches three technologies:

1. Barcodes  

Barcode or labeling is among one of the first frameworks in food traceability standards. The machine-readable barcode that each food product would tag a unique code for origin tracking. Currently, barcode technology can also contain the data of inventories and distribution centers.

2. Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)  

Basically, RFID emerged radio-frequency waves to data transfer, which refers to be a type of contactless connection. In food traceability, food would be tagged by an RFID part, including an antenna and a chip, which responsible for store and deliver the information.

In fact, in comparing Barcodes and RFID technologies, they also come with both benefits and challenges in applying.

Barcodes RFID
Come with limited data storage, which is only stored at retailer databases. Offer unlimited data storage, covering a major part of the food product journey.
Applying barcode standard is seemingly affordable for many businesses that it does not require high tech infrastructure. RFID requires a comprehensively designed system and infrastructure to accommodate the data. Hence, it is seemingly costly in many ways.
Due to the low level of technology involved in Barcodes, it restricts the application and readable device. Despite the high investment in an RFID system, this technology provides better flexibility in scanning and more accurate tracking. It allows multi tags scanning.
Barcode technology is believed to be more secure, that it only allows one-side access that cannot make changes. Due to wireless technology, using RFID is potentially attracted by cybercrime. Additionally, it also is sensitive to interference problems due to radio wave errors.
Barcode commonly uses for accessing inventory and product origin after production. RFID is extensively used for tracing within the production with instant locating and real-time traceability.
Related article: technology in food industry

3. GS1- Global standard  

Apart from a framework, GS1 is an organization, which takes responsibility for monitoring and controlling food traceability activities globally. It plays a crucial role in keeping the whole process transparently and accurately within the food supply chain.

Traceability in food safety

Again, Traceability in food industry and food supply chain implies the solution to control the risk of foodborne illness or contamination. Accordingly, it requires the participation of the monitoring party, here are the government arms. In America, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) imposes Food safety Modernization Acts (FSMA), covering requirements of traceability in food safety.

FDA traceability requirements  

In terms of key data elements (KDEs) for traceability in food industry, FDA published an instruction for traceability rules, applying in the food supply chain: 

fda traceability requirements
  • Record of Food Growing: commonly apply for fruits and vegetables, including data of growing and sprout process.
  • Record of creating: containing detail of the making and processing tasks of food, focusing on used ingredients.
  • Record of Transformation: KDEs contain the information on packaging, labeling the transformed food after cutting, cooking, commingling, repacking, and repackaging.
  • Records of Shiping: KDEs store the occurrence during the transportation process.
  • Record of receiving: key data stores the event information that the customer receives the food after the shipping process. The data should be added and collapse with KDEs of Growing.

Food traceability template  

Food traceability should be clear and contain adequate information to users understand the whole food product life. FAD traceability program suggests that typical Food traceability need to cover four aspects:

  • Including reference records: i.e. Bills of lading, purchase contract, production logs
  • List of shipped food traceability: shippers have to hold along a document covering traceability product identifier and traceability product description for each food.
  • Assigned traceability codes: due to differences in using standards, food traceability should present thoroughly how the code is established.
  • Additional information: internal or external coding systems or classification schemes, glossaries, and abbreviations
Related article: Food services industry

Transformation of transparency and traceability In Food industry  

Currently, the innovation of technology enables the use of existing equipment as a tracking device. Accordingly, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the matrix of connectivity allow cross-traceability among vendors and retailers. With traceability in the food supply chain, a centralized database defeats the challenge of information inconsistency when those are collected from discrete sources.

Open connectivity and collaboration give birth to the concept of real-time information sharing in Food traceability. Besides, it also supports unit-level traceability and authentication. Whereby, end-to-end visibility for traceability in the food supply chain deter the risk of disruption and protect the agile supply chain. Accordingly, it requires the exact contribution of software development companies as technology guardians to assure fast, reliable, and transparent traceability within the food supply chain.   

In terms of pallet tracing, tons of pallet stacking in the warehouse lead to challenges in manual food traceability. In this case, RFID chips for pallet level could be a solution. The automated capacity emerged in RFID technology allow multi-scanning without the need for pallet moving or rearranging. The technology promises to save time and cost in the mass tracing process.

Cloud services for Food traceability tend to be the norm due to the population and security of cloud services worldwide. It adds flexibility in the process that users could access on phone, tablet, or some other wearable devices. With the capacity to host mass traffic simultaneously, it reduces lag and noise in information tracking.

Related article: Cloud kitchen concept

In conclusion, technology rapidly reshaped the food supply chain in many conners, including food traceability. In fact, Traceability in food industry is implied as to the central pass in the food trading business. Adopting the development in food and beverage software refer to only ways for food business keeping up-to-date with the agile transformation in the market.

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