The European Union is the world's second-largest market for frozen food products.
With 70% of food products being traded internationally, high quality and safety management are required within the food supply chain. The consumption of chilled and frozen food products in Europe is experiencing above-average growth at over 10% a year, yet food safety remains a major concern for consumers. Unfortunately, there is still no integrated concept available for the chilled and frozen food chain which allows both the complete and continuous monitoring of food safety and quality and the traceability of the entire food chain.
The goal of the new European Commission-funded project is the development of intelligent labels for fish and poultry products to guarantee traceability and transparency of the chilled supply chain. The focus of the research is to develop methods for quality control of fish and poultry and relevant information technologies.
AFCON Software and Electronics Ltd is heading development of the IT work-package providing tracking and tracing of goods using GIS (Geographical Information System) technology, the Supply Chain Management System, the
Decision Support System and Marine Interface parts.
Collecting the data that makes up the Chain Information Management is the core of the CHILL-ON project.
The total budget for the Integrated Project (IP) CHILL-ON is 16 million Euros, divided among 24 partners in 12 countries. The German partner TTZ Bremerhaven, an international R&D provider focused on applied research project, won and coordinates the project. During the four- year project, various challenges to supply and cold chains will be studied and addressed.
Among the various hardware innovations of the project are the MMU (Mobile Management Unit) and the e-CHILL-ON Smart label , an innovative, consumer and industry-relevant product developed through this project. The "e-CHILL-ON" Smart Label will combine RFID, TTI, GPS and other technologies. At the core of the project is the Smart Label: the "e-CHILL-ON" smart label, an innovative, consumer- and industry-relevant product developed through this project. The "e-CHILL-ON" Smart Label will combine RFID, TTI, GPS and other technologies.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and relies on storing and remotely recovering data using RFID tags. Transmitted data provides information about the tagged product such as identification, location, color, date of purchase and price.
There are two main types of RFID tags: passive and active. Passive RFID tags have no internal power supply, instead drawing power from an incoming signal and using that power to send a response. These tags can therefore be as small as 0.15mm x 0.15mm and as thin as a sheet of paper. Active RFID tags have an internal power supply, are considered more reliable than passive tags, and able tocan send a more powerful signal.
TTI stands for Time-Temperature-Integrator and is a distinctive gadget integrating the elapsed time and temperature history of the product to which it is attached. The integrated information can then be either displayed (color wise) or transmitted (using RFID) as inappropriate temperature control is a major cause for food spoilage and illness, . tThe gadget has strong potential with customers. Owning to TTIs ability to help decide sell-by-dates, they are also potentially applicable in the industry.
A Chain Information Management System will be adapted specifically to the needs of the CHILL-ON network to effectively manage the collected parameters. This Chain Collaboration Platform will help organizations to manage their co-operation and improve their supply chain and quality management.
A novel complex IT system for data handling and transfer called TRACECHILL will be based on the integration and adaptation of proven (web) technologies including GPS, GIS, RFID and cellular networks. TRACECHILL will enable the access to all required information for the supply chain and will provide a platform for traceability.
Further aspects of the project are optimizing chilling methods, and setting up a precise and fast process to confirm possible quality defects in fish products.