|Radio Frequency Identification: Technology Tested to Enhance Food Traceability|
|Written by David McGiverin|
|Wednesday, 17 November 2010 15:23|
Radio Frequency Identification: Technology Tested to Enhance Food Traceability
by David McGiverin
An assessment of the potential for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to enhance food safety and traceability is the goal of a pilot project now underway under the joint direction of the Northwest Food Processors Education & Research Institute (ERI) and Oregon State University (OSU).
Two food processors – one in Oregon and the other in Washington – have been selected as partners in a USDA / Oregon and Washington Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop grant project. The identity of the pilot plants (designated Oregon A and Washington B) will not be publicly released.
Both participating plants are providing a working environment for the project and assistance in (1) setting up and testing the traceability system; (2) collecting required data; (3) evaluating system performance compared to their existing internal traceability system.
This fall (2010) we plan to have final scoping of each individual project completed along with identification of appropriate software, hardware and training required to smoothly integrate RFID at both project site locations.
Areas of Research:
• Improved food safety and traceability
At Plant A we plan to research and test the use of RFID for improved productivity by capturing and transferring data from the food processing plant to the cold storage facility (finished product to storage). The research should provide significant insight into the benefits of and barriers to adopting the use of RFID in a food processing productivity
At Plant B, we are researching the potential to improve traceability from the farm field to the food processing plant (inbound raw materials). We see great potential in discovering what overall benefits RFID technology might have on food processing plants and on the supply chain, delivering real time information for better decision making.
Power of Collaboration:
• OSU’s RFID Food Applications Laboratory and a RFID system integrator will provide expert technical support to set up and test the traceability systems, under the auspices of participant plant operations management.