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Transparency in food supply chains: A review of enabling technology solutions

Astill, Jake, Dara, Rozita A., Campbell, Malcolm, Farber, Jeffrey M., Fraser, Evan D.G., Sharif, Shayan, Yada, Rickey Y.
Trends in food science & technology 2019 v.91 pp. 240-247
Internet, consumer acceptance, consumer demand, data analysis, data collection, food production, food supply chain, foodborne illness, production technology, risk management, stakeholders, supply chain
Modern food supply chains are complex and contain numerous stakeholders, with each performing specific roles pertaining to food production. As food supply chains become more complex, the importance of food production transparency increases. Several factors contribute to the need for transparency such as an increase in the global population, detection of foodborne illness outbreaks, efficient management of risks and recalls, and satisfying consumer demand. A case in point is the necessity that food production systems become more sustainable through improvements in production efficiency and reducing the wasting of resources and food. Other examples include the need for timely identification of the source of food production, in addition to requiring a more rapid knowledge of the cause of contamination during outbreaks of foodborne illness.This review sets out to describe enabling technologies, provided by the Internet of Things (IoT), which have the potential to increase food production transparency. In addition, other technologies important for managing and using food supply chain data, such as blockchain and Big Data analytics, are reviewed. The IoT is the overarching technology which allows for data collection from multiple phases within supply chains leading to data driven transparent systems of food production.Enabling transparency in food supply chains via implementation of technologies will require considerable effort from all stakeholders involved, resulting in many new challenges and requirements that must be addressed. These challenges and requirements range from technical issues, such as Internet connection, storage requirements, device security, and government requirements and regulations, to those concerning consumer acceptance.