Food Control

Background & Application

Radio frequency identification technology (RFID) has huge potential in the field of food control. In recent years, RFID has developed rapidly and its influence has become increasingly prominent in food control. Because of its unique advantages, RFID labels play an important role in improving food safety, traceability and overall food correspondence chain management.


Application Cases

Walmart is one of the early adopters of RFID technology for food traceability. They use RFID labels to identify food and track the entire process from farm to shelf. Not only can they recall problematic products quickly and accurately when food safety issues occur, but they can also quickly verify the goods on the shelf. Some unmanned supermarkets attach RFID labels to food packaging, especially for imported food. RFID technology is used to sell food and other commodities. Its function is not only to store product information for easy sales and inquiry, but also to prevent unpaid goods from being taken away from the unmanned supermarket.


Some food distributors in Europe attach RFID electronic labels to reusable packaging, so that the transportation of food can be tracked throughout the supply chain, ensuring that the food arrives correctly, preventing contamination and spoilage, and improving efficiency. Some wine producers in Italy use RFID labels to improve production efficiency and prevent counterfeit and shoddy products. RFID labels can provide detailed information of production traceability. You can learn about the planting location, picking time, brewing process and storage conditions of grapes by scanning RFID labels. Detailed information ensures the quality and safety of food throughout the supply chain and enhances consumers’ trust in the product.

McDonald's has tested RFID technology in some of its restaurants to track the storage and use of ingredients. The RFID label is attached to the food packaging. When employees take out the food for processing, the RFID reader will automatically record the usage time and quantity of the food. This helps McDonald's better manage ingredient inventory and reduce waste and ensure food freshness.

Advantages of RFID Technology in Food Control

1.Automation and Efficiency

RFID technology realizes automatic data collection and processing, greatly improves the efficiency and accuracy of food control, and reduces manual operation errors.

2.Real-time and Transparency

Dynamic information about food in the supply chain can be obtained in real time with RFID technology, which not only improves the transparency of the supply chain and prevents the proliferation of counterfeit and shoddy food in the market, but also enhances consumers' trust in the source and quality of food.

3.Traceability and Accountability

RFID technology has established a complete traceability chain for food, making it possible to quickly and accurately determine the responsible party when a food safety incident occurs which promotes corporate self-restraint and social supervision.

RFID technology has obvious advantages and broad application prospects in the application of food control. With continuous technological innovation and cost reduction, it is expected to further protect the food safety and health rights of consumers. RFID technology is expected to further protect the food safety and health rights of consumers and applications will become more popular and in-depth in food control.


Analysis of Product Selection

The following key factors need to be considered in the design and material selection of RFID labels for food control:

1.Surface material: The surface material should have good chemical stability and durability to cope with possible exposure to grease, moisture, temperature changes and other conditions. Usually, if there are no special requirements, we will choose coated paper that is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and can resist water and abrasion to a certain extent. We can also use more waterproof, anti-fouling and tear-resistant materials according to requirements, such as PET or PP, to ensure that food is not contaminated. And can protect internal components.

2.Chip: The choice of chip depends on the required date memory, read and write speed, and operating frequency. For food tracking and control, you may need to choose a chip that supports high frequency (HF) or ultra high frequency (UHF) RFID standards, such as NXP's UCODE series of chips or Alien Higgs series of chips, which can provide sufficient data memory for recording Product information, such as batch number, production date, expiration date, etc., which can be quickly read in the supply chain.


3.Antenna: The antenna design should be small and light, taking into account the size of the food packaging and environmental requirements, while having a good reading range and signal transmission efficiency. The impedance of the antenna must match the chip to ensure optimal RF performance. In addition, the antenna also needs to be able to adapt to harsh environments such as hot and cold cycles and humidity changes.

4.Adhesive materials: Adhesive materials must meet food safety requirements, comply with relevant food contact material regulations, and will not migrate harmful substances to food. The adhesive performance must be strong, not only to ensure that the label is firmly attached to various types of food packaging materials (such as plastic, glass, metal foil, etc.), but also to be able to be used in refrigeration, freezing and normal temperature, etc. When necessary it must be easy to peel off from the packaging without leaving any residue. Take water glue for example, before using you may need to note the ambient temperature and the surface’s cleanliness of the object to be attached.

To sum up, in order to achieve efficient and accurate food control, the surface material, chip, antenna and adhesive material of the smart RFID labels need to be carefully selected to ensure that it is stable and reliable and meets strict health and safety standards in the complex food supply chain environment.