Fresh food processors can now trace the condition of their products throughout the supply chain, with the UK launch of a low cost smart card data recorder that monitors time and temperature.
Packaging supplier Sealed Air’s Turbotag can perform real-time calculations for digital shelf-life monitoring alongside standard upper and lower limit analysis, and is currently being piloted by a UK chilled food processor.
Using radio frequency identification, the card can communicate results through internet databases that can distribute and report conditions. "The real advantage is that staff don't need software training as they can use handsets to read the devices," said Turbotag's unit coordinator Jim Cox, speaking at Sealed Air Cryovac’s Packforum event earlier this month.
As the tag is lightweight and only the size of credit card, it is extremely durable, claimed the firm. Turbotag has unlimited reuse potential over the one year service life of the battery. "Once they're configured you can use them over and over again, which is a great cost benefit," said Cox.
The card’s ability to monitor temperature meant that factors contributing transit waste and spoilage could be Identified and managed, claimed Sealed Air. The company said that the tag could outperform conventional strip chart recorders and digital data loggers because it had temperature accuracy to ± 0.5°C and user configurable alarms and functions, which can alert staff to product abuse.