Published on March 19th, 2014 | by Derek Markham0
RFID Technology Startup Tackles Perishables Freshness
With such a huge food system, where produce and other perishables have to travel long distances to get to market, possibly through several middlemen, there are a lot of variables along the way that can affect how fresh the food is by the time it arrives, including the temperatures they’re exposed to and the time it takes to get there. Perishables that have perished are no good to anyone, so keeping food fresh from the farm to the market is a big imperative for growers and processors, and can have a big impact on the bottom line of any food business.
There are two different angles to approach the food freshness issue from, with one of them being working toward more efficient food handling, processing, and transport solutions, which could reduce losses and increase potential profits, and the other one is being able to measure and monitor the freshness of the food as it travels to market.
An RFID technology startup may be making that second solution, the measuring and monitoring of the freshness of perishables, quite a bit more seamless and efficient with their RFID sensor tags and software system.
Infratab, which is based in Oxnard, California, offers a perishables food monitoring system that uses smart sensors and RFID technology, coupled with their software platform, to deliver better and more precise metrics about the condition of perishables, which can be easily measured and monitored. This solution, called Freshtime, is said to offer “smarter care of perishables” to everyone along the line of the food’s journey, from the grower to the packer to the hauler to the distributor to the retailer or end user.
“Infratab makes and sells smart sensors whose purpose is to answer, “How fresh is it?” Supporting these sensors are software applets and dashboards that manage sensor data; cloud databases that store this data; and most importantly, analytics that map, aggregate and curate data for condition and freshness-based business decisions. Collectively these are known as Infratab Freshtime™.” – Infratab
By using the Freshtime platform, companies can leverage the collected data and analysis to fine-tune their own systems, helping to ensure the food gets to market while it’s fresh, and if it isn’t, the data can help to find out why. And the system isn’t just for food, as it lends itself to any type of perishable items, from adhesives to pharmaceuticals to fresh flowers.
“Freshtime passes along the freshness status of the tagged perishable either via the cloud, via a reader or more importantly, physically from a mother tag to a daughter tag. The daughter tag can be another sensor tag, an EPC or NFC ID tag, a barcode, or a printed label. The mother tag can be monitoring a vat of wine or a large vial of reagents. When wine is bottled or the reagent is transferred to a smaller vial, the freshness and other condition status can be passed to a daughter tag. No matter what the daughter tag, Freshtime facilitates this inheritance very simply and cost effectively.” – Infratab
Using this RFID technology and monitoring platform can help companies reduce spoilage, manage their inventory, ensure that quality and freshness are optimal for the consumer, to set freshness standards for either internal purposes or for the end users, and more, all of which could end up greatly affecting the bottom line.
Find out more at Infratab.