RFID tag tracks temperature for food processors

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food processors Rfid

A new temperature logging radio frequency identification (RFID) tag
targets food processors and handlers who need to comply with the
latest EU requirements and pending US traceability legislation.

The EU's 2002 general food law's requirements on traceability came into force from 1 January 2005 and applies to all food and feed, all food and feed business operators. Food processors are required to trace food, feed and ingredients through all stages of production, processing and distribution.

Traceability is a key tool in ensuring the withdrawal of foods found to be contaminated. Member states have until 1 January 2007 to amend their existing food laws and procedures in compliance with the EU's regulations.

Austria-based Identec Solutions says its wireless temperature logger is capable of sampling, time stamping, and storing up to 13,000 temperature readings in its memory, which can then be retrieved using a handheld personal digital assistant (PDA) or dock-door reader at distances of up to 100 metres.

The i-Q32T tag has an optional feature that can be used to monitor and log the internal temperature of food products during processing and cool-down periods.

"We designed this product to help companies meet the strict food traceability legislations without making huge capital investments in infrastructure,"​ stated Barry Allen, Identec'svice president for engineering. "Customer demand for a reliable, easily deployable monitoring and tracking technology is strong."

The temperature logger is rated for operational temperatures from -40 C to +85 C (-40 F to +185 F) and has a six-year battery life. Temperature measurements are accurate to within 0.25 C (0.5 F)and logging intervals are programmable from one minute to 18 hours, the company claims.

This means users can capture product history from source to destination even when shipments are in transit for several weeks or suffer unexpected delays.

Tag communications are 115 KBaud at distances of up to 100 meters (300 feet), allowing for quick retrieval of temperature logs at dock doors, so that product which has been subjected to atemperature excursion can automatically be flagged, stopped and quarantined before it is even unloaded from the truck, the company stated.

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