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RFID temperature logger could enhance cold chain quality control

By Jane Byrne , 06-Oct-2008
Last updated on 06-Oct-2008 at 15:37 GMT2008-10-06T15:37:01Z

A new programmable temperature logger can identify problems incurred with produce during cold chain storage and transit, thus providing an improved quality control system for food manufacturers, says Caen RFID.

According to the Italian manufacturer, the new Easy2Log radio frequency identification (RFID) temperature logger features a sensor that can accurately detect temperature changes by half a degree Celsius and can be set at a reading rate of between eight seconds to half hour intervals.

Processors are increasingly on the lookout for improved temperature measuring equipment for cold storage equipment, as regulators tighten restrictions over how foods should be safely stored.

Consumers also are becoming increasingly aware of food quality, safety, origin and traceability and this is exerting greater pressure on processors to keep track of every component in the manufacturing process.

Giovanni Riganti, marketing manager at Caen RFID told FoodProductionDaily.com that the Easy2Log functions in the range of -20°C to +70°C, thus enabling critical control of temperature for cold chain products such as fresh food, seafood, meat and poultry, milk-based products and frozen food.

UHF compatibility

He said the Easy2Log differs from existing temperature monitoring tags in that it is the first to use ultra high frequency (UHF) technology to monitor temperature sensitive products during transportation or storage.

“The tag is compatible with most of the portable or handheld Gen2 UHF readers available on the market without the need for any additional equipment, and enables it to have a broader reading range than tags based on high frequency (HF) technology.

“The Easy2Log can be used as both a pallet tag and a case tag, which means that it can provide very localised temperature measurement, including the monitoring of several areas within a single cargo or truck,” explained Rigati.

The technology enables the end user the flexibility to change the optimum temperature threshold at any point during the storage or transit of the food product, added Rigati.

“The Easy2Log enables highly accurate sampling of temperature data, so that the producer can retrieve information about the potential shelf life of a product before it reaches the retail outlet,” he said.

Cost effective

Rigati claims that the Easy2Log, retailing at €32 a unit, is a cost-effective quality control mechanism in that each tag comes with a long life battery of either three or five years, and can be easily reprogrammed for subsequent shipments.

He added that the temperature logger has a memory capacity of 8,000 samples, and can be customised according to a food producer’s particular monitoring requirements.

Several food companies have sought improved temperature devices since global regulators published a draft of the Codex Alimentarius food safety code calling for stricter temperature regulations.

The new Codex draft calls on processors to verify that a temperature of -18°C is maintained throughout the frozen or food supply chain.

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