Food traceability

Food traceability is the process that follows the movement of a food product and its ingredients through all steps in the supply chain, both back and forward. This “back and forward” or “recall” is a crucial aspect of food safety.

What is food traceability?

The capacity to track things from their raw material source to the consumer’s hands is known as traceability. Sourcing, production, processing, and distribution are all included.

Importance of food traceability?

  • Traceability ensures recording of the entire product’s journey creating a systematic and transparent supply chain.
  • With its recall option for faulty, expired, and hazardous products, it helps to ensure consumer safety even before the product is released to the market, it aids in its root cause analysis.
  • Customers can learn about the product they use and its safety thanks to the careful application of traceability.
  • it serves as a certification for product safety and genuineness through its product journey database, which fosters trust in the product and its brand.

How is food traceability implemented?

Food traceability is implemented by linking two or more processes by creating a dependency, this might be both inside an organization or the entire supply chain itself. Therefore traceability involves documenting every process from sourcing, production, processing and distribution. A brief understanding of how traceability works is mentioned below,

Sourcing: The origin of the raw materials, their source, and the use of pesticides and antibodies are all noted, along with the transportation conditions that must be met are tracked. Processing and packing: the received raw materials are processed and linked back to the same lot along with its quality checks and certificates. It is then packed and time stamped with all the composition and ingredients of the product.

Logistics and distribution: the travel information of the product is always available in real-time through geographical tracking, checkpoint, temperature checks, etc. this then extended to recording the product retail journey along with sales geography and even the consumer’s profile.

What are external and internal traceability?

By now, you are aware that a product’s journey is traced at every stage and that data is documented internally and externally in the supply chain. This means that a product journey is recorded both internally in an organization, i.e. keeping track of the production process, and externally, i.e. moving a product between stakeholders or partners in traceability. Even though there is transparency among the participants, only the relevant information is shared with the stakeholders, and business secrets are kept within the organization. These are referred to as “smart contracts” under the blockchain, wherein participants decide what information is to be exchanged along with its criteria and certification.

How does blockchain help in food traceability?

Blockchain technology is the process of storing data in a decentralized, transparent, and unchangeable digital ledger. Blockchain-based supply chain solutions would require the capture and exchange of digitalized data at each input and output along the whole supply chain. When production is transparent and processes are handled with data in hand, this contributes to higher product quality and safety.

Transparency: Each collection and drop-off location has a data collection device, and the collected information is distributed to other parties.

Traceability: Different processes are connected to create traceability through the digitization of data.

Supply Provenance: Consumers are given the knowledge they need to assure product safety starting with the source of raw ingredients, ethical production techniques, and effective distribution networks.

food traceability, food supply chain

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