Improving food safety and quality in China

Improving food safety and quality in China


China: China”s Ministry of Science and Technology is supporting a project called Agriculture Internet of Things and Food Safety and Quality, which uses technologies developed for the Internet of Things (IoT) to track and trace agriculture from the field through the supply chain and in food-processing environments. The project has been developed by Auto-ID Lab at Fudan University, in Shanghai, in collaboration with 17 other research teams at universities, research institutes and enterprises. The platform comprises of three layers: sensing, communication and application.

The sensing layer is designed to monitor the condition of crops and livestock on farms and in the supply chain with different automatic identification and data capture technologies, based on cost-effectiveness. RFID tags, for example, can be used to identify swine and cattle, as well as cases of high-value meats and fruits. Cases of low-cost fruits can be tracked using 1-D or 2-D bar codes. Wireless sensor networks can monitor temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, heavy metals and other environmental conditions in fields, greenhouses and housing for swine and cattle, as well as perishable items during transport.

The communication layer is designed to allow various stakeholders to access supply-chain information. An IoT architecture based on Object Name Service (ONS) is established, so that information can be captured and stored on the Web.

The application layer will support applications and services that could be used by farmers, retailers, the government, analysts and consumers. It includes a database containing China”s food safety regulations. Supply-chain partners will be able to analyse data captured from the RFID tags and bar codes to determine product quality and shelf life. Farmers will be able to build their own applications and services—we”ve created some examples, including “my farm,” “my crow house,” “my supply chain,” “tracking and tracing system” and “recall assistant.”

Source: RFID Journal