Research explores technological infrastructure underlying food traceability platforms.

October 2, 2023

1 Min Read
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The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) have released an issue paper which examines traceability fundamentals including the development and use of various technologies to enhance food safety, source transparency, and consumer confidence. With an increased interest on food traceability around the globe including a focus on complying with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s end-to-end traceability mandate for food and agricultural products, the issue paper is intended as a foundational resource for stakeholders across industry, academia, government agencies, and trade associations.

The issue paper explores the technological infrastructure underlying food traceability platforms while touching on the history of those platforms, the current state of technology, ongoing U.S. food traceability initiatives, as well as the future of commercial scale deployment.

Robert Gravani, PhD, professor emeritus, Cornell University, and former board president of IFT, served as publication task force chair.

“With the increase in the size, scope, and complexity of the global food supply chain, the ability to track and trace foods and ingredients through the system quickly and efficiently is of paramount importance,” said Gravani. “It is a perfect time for all supply chain partners to implement a well-organized, systematic, and interoperable end-to-end traceability system to improve food safety, quality, national origin, authenticity, and sustainability.”

Bryan Hitchcock, chief science and technology officer for IFT, added: “The effectiveness of any traceability system is based on the quality of data collected, and emerging tools and technologies offer significant opportunity to improve that digital data and help create a safer food supply. Everyone from consumers and food producers to distributors, retailers, and food safety regulators have been demanding improved traceability for years and now, through scientific and technological advancements, food traceability can become a reality.”

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