In the United States alone, food travels on average 1,300 miles from farm to fork, with 33% of produce and 80% of seafood imported from other countries. Food products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are processed by more than 300,000 different facilities in over 150 different countries. The complexity of this supply chain means that food can travel around the world in the custody of multiple agents along the way, with variations in documentation and processing resulting in loss of critical information about food authenticity and origin or even loss of the food itself. Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost from the global supply chain annually without any understanding of where it goes. Traceability and authenticity in such a complex supply chain are therefore extremely difficult to manage, especially when consumers are increasingly concerned about those assurances, as well as about additional elements like sustainability and genetically modified production methods.
The technology tools of Industry 4.0, such as sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and blockchain, will provide the next step in ensuring food integrity. By integrating Industry 4.0 approaches with frameworks and approaches like HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), HARPC (Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls), CARVER+Shock, and FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis), organizations along the international food supply chain will be able to manage everything from sanitation requirements in production facilities, to process documentation between different agents taking custody of food, to ensuring the food product matches the ingredients and provenance described on the label. In addition, scientific approaches to food authentication, such as spectroscopy, chromatographic techniques, and electronic sensors, will allow organizations to counter the criminals who take advantage of the inability of current techniques to detect a sufficiently wide range of potential contaminants.
In the new Intelex Insight Report Innovation in Food Safety and Quality: An Industry 4.0 Look at Food Integrity, you’ll learn about the following:
- How food integrity tools like HARPC and HACCP, as well as quality tools like FMEA, intersect with Industry 4.0 approaches
- How cutting-edge analytical techniques can analyze food samples to ensure their authenticity, and
- How data-driven technology and machine-learning are revolutionizing process verification, traceability, and food integrity.