Growing concerns over food quality are prompting producers to adopt technology that makes possible full traceability of product origin. New systems enabled by artificial intelligence offer both a safeguard against contamination and a means of resolving any issues quickly. In addition, traceability systems can help a food business control any further damage that might stem from a particular issue. It’s terrifying to know that a safety hazard caused by your business is on the loose, and that you have no way of knowing which batches are affected.
Given the frequency of foodborne illnesses, food businesses today could do well to have a comprehensive traceability system in place. In the U.S. alone, one in six citizens falls ill from a foodborne illness each year. That statistic alone shows that control over the supply chain and proper recordkeeping are essential to keeping those numbers low.
Supply chain traceability creates opportunities to boost operational efficiency and safeguard businesses from potential risks. Application of a traceability system from the beginning of the production process allows companies to identify where problems might have occurred, and pinpoint solutions in a timely manner.
These days, the need for traceability is greater than ever. One study found that customers are willing to pay a premium for products made with greater supply chain transparency. In addition to new regulations requiring extensive transparency such the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), governments are increasingly unearthing incidents of non-compliance by food supply chains.
In an effort to improve transparency and traceability, industries have begun implementing software powered by AI. Using algorithms and machine learning, these programs can create a more efficient tracking system, one that’s capable of safeguarding the trade secrets of a company while monitoring the important stages of the supply chain.
Particularly in the food industry, traceability software is being used today to unify operations along the supply chain. The information is then made readily available to consumers through embedded QR codes. When scanned, they reveal the entire process that the product went through before reaching the consumer’s table.
AI-powered software programs log pertinent information such as production date, batch, delivery route and corrective actions applied. In industries where manufacturing safety is a particular concern, a timely response could mean the difference between life and death.
Traceability software powered by AI enables food-recall systems to be applied faster than ever, saving the reputation of brands and protecting the health of consumers. Business teams can track which batches are affected, and where they were delivered. Digital systems minimize human error by increasing the accuracy of the monitoring process.
Innovations in supply chain traceability are providing consumers with proof that the goods they purchase are compliant with strict regulations and guidelines for safe production of food products. Modern-day software is revolutionizing how the supply chain is monitored, even after delivery.
The benefits of AI-powered supply chain traceability significantly surpass traditional systems. It enables efficient and sustainable production throughout the supply chain, while enhancing consumer confidence about product safety with minimal effort.
Violetta Njunina is head of sales at FoodDocs.
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