We’re stepping into an era of food safety, where innovative technologies hold more promise and transformative potential than ever before. Technology is poised to help the food industry finally realize the long-term goal of nearly eradicating foodborne illnesses. Food safety and quality are the key objectives for food scientists and industries concerned with this sector all over the world. To achieve this goal, several analytical techniques have been proposed to fit the regulatory requirements. Food safety and hygiene are very important aspects of food production, processing, and consumption. In the absence of appropriate hygiene and safety protocols, the entire food chain, right from the farmer who grows the food till the consumer who eats it is compromised. Food safety lapses, which include contamination and spoilage of food products pose major health risks. We’re seeing advancements and innovative technologies being deployed in many exciting places in the food industry. This will radically help the industry to strengthen their food safety programs, deter food fraud, and improve tracebacks and recalls. Here are some of the most prominent innovative technologies that are transforming food safety:
Digitization has made it possible to streamline processes that earlier involved excessive time and effort to manage via paper-based methods and cumbersome monitoring strategies. Inefficient, labor-intensive processes for monitoring food quality and safety are being replaced with automated systems. And with tighter government controls on food safety requirements, this technology is essential to keeping up with the compliance landscape. Automation through comprehensive software is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity to protect your brand. Now is the time to ensure that your company is implementing automated preventive controls via a technology solution that delivers advantages such as customized and detailed workflows, robust reporting, and automatic scheduling and monitoring properties.
One of the most compelling use-cases of blockchain technology is that it gives companies the ability to record and secure arbitrary and disparate kinds of data. Food safety is poised to benefit from this new method of data management. If we look at traceability done well in the food industry, we see examples where it is possible to identify—down to a specific time and location—where the problem happened and then isolate the products that need to be recalled. Blockchain will exponentially amplify this traceability. The ability to securely share and track data across organizations and from farm to processing plant to grocery store shelves means the food safety industry will gain unprecedented insights into exactly what’s going on in our supply chains.
The rise of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) has prompted widespread innovation in sensor technologies that accurately and consistently capture and communicate data. Furthermore, advances in networking, storage, and processing have created a mass market for sensors delivering real-time data from across the food supply chain. Commercially viable sensors not only advance computer vision but also enable machines to hear, feel, taste, and even smell. These new categories of sensors allow users to tap into new layers of data. The data gathered by these innovative sensors will be leveraged to build safer food manufacturing plants that will operate more efficiently, monitor for unintended contamination, and protect against food fraud.
Digitally connected supply chain
Consumers want visibility into the handling of their foods, and the government demands transparency into contamination prevention and remediation efforts. Therefore, traceability in the supply chain is paramount. In the case of a recall, it is used to differentiate and isolate safe products from the source of the problem. With a digitally connected supply chain, manufacturers wield the power of traceability to improve supply management and maximize quality control. Furthermore, digital traceability systems can lessen recall expenses, make distribution systems cheaper, and increase the sales of high-value products. But more important than these competitive and financial benefits are the safety improvements gleaned from a digitally connected supply chain.