RFID system ensures happier harvests

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

The development of a new RFID software system offers the fresh food
industry an unprecedented level of monitoring and traceability, to
ensure safety is retained from the farm to the fork, its
manufacturer claims.

US group Insync Software says the increased availability of its Greentrace Food Safety Solution for fresh food will allow processors to combat the risk of contamination through the food chain effecting product quality and output. As stricter laws force companies to invest in ways of tracking the food they sell, RFID is becoming a necessity not only for large, international companies, but also for any farmers or manufacturers involved in the product's development. The technology uses RFID, GPS and a number of sensors like scales to monitor changes within food that occur during harvesting, processing, storage and distribution, according to Insync. Beginning at the farm yard, the company says that the system allows workers to tag individual harvest bins using GPS-enabled RFID handheld readers. As the tagged bins make their way through the food production cycle, data is processed in real time to ensure that companies are aware of the location, product status and condition their ingredients are in, Insync adds. This data makes use of the group's Edgeware technology to monitor a number of conditions including weight and temperature . According to the company, as the food is tracked through a specific user defined route, any deviations relating to time, temperature or other quality factors send out real-time alerts to processors relating to a products location. The system is also capable of detailing the area from which any of its products were originally sourced. This feature, Insync says, ensures that manufacturers are able to rapidly carry out identification and possible recalls of contaminated lots, as well as preventing any further difficulties in their operations. The company pointed to the recent E-coli scare in the US as an example of the importance of ensuring traceability throughout the food production process. Along with improving safety through the food chain, companies using Greentrace can also improve the speed at which good can be processed, ensuring that freshness is maintained in products, the group claim. By offering a real-time view to processors of incoming harvests, they are able to better prepare themselves for dealing with incoming ingredients. By improving efficiency in this way, Insync claims that the Greentrace system can cut down on spoilage and contamination that may occur.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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