RFID solutions in vegetable and pig food safety management

Key words:Food safety and traceability, RFID radio frequency identification, RFID tracking and traceability in fruits and vegetables, RFID pig management supply chain, food safety supply chain information platform, RFID Electronic tags, UHF handheld readers

Summary:In recent years, the frequent occurrence of many food safety incidents has seriously threatened the health of consumers, attracted worldwide attention, and also affected the healthy, sustainable and stable development of the food industry. How to ensure the safety of food supply chain has become a global issue that needs to be solved urgently. Traditional food quality inspection methods have problems such as management lag, low efficiency and high error rate. The use of RFID technology to establish a safe food supply chain system can effectively solve the above problems. RFID systems can provide a reliable link between food and sources in the food supply chain, ensuring that the origin of food arriving on supermarket shelves and kitchens is clear, and can be traced to production companies and even animals, plants and specific processing operators.

RFID solutions in vegetable and pig food safety management

“People take food as the sky, and food comes first.” The application of RFID technology in the safe food supply chain, for enterprises, helps food enterprises to strengthen the management of food safety, stabilize and expand the consumer group, and enhance market competition From the perspective of the food supply chain, it has created an environment for consumers to consume with confidence, established a good image, and effectively improved the service level of the entire supply chain. Although there are still some problems to be solved in the application of RFID, its application prospect is very broad.

1. Issues in food safety
In recent years, my country has entered a period of frequent food safety incidents. Food safety was listed as one of the top ten hotspots in Chinese business in 2009. Bird flu, foot-and-mouth disease, inferior milk powder, the Japanese poisonous dumpling incident, and the recent Hainan poisonous cowpea incident… There are so many “problem foods”, covering a wide range, and causing serious consequences, it has reached the point where people talk about “food”. level. Food safety still has problems such as exceeding the standard, lack of laws and regulations, testing and environmental protection systems, and imperfect supervision and traceability information platforms. Consumers have low levels of trust in the safety of any type of food. One after another, food safety issues are hitting people’s confidence in eating heavily… What happened to Chinese food? What can we eat tomorrow? How to find effective tracking, management, traceability and evaluation methods to ensure safety is an important issue to be solved urgently in China’s current food safety issues.

1. Consequences of food safety problems
Affecting international trade Food safety is an important condition for country-to-country food trade, and it is also an important cause of trade disputes. According to reports, every year, a large number of exported foods in my country are seized due to food contamination, pesticide residues, and additives that do not meet hygienic requirements.

Affecting the survival and development of enterprises Food industry occupies an important position in my country’s national economy. Food safety is the foundation of food brands and the life of food enterprises. Ensuring food safety is the first eternal theme of the survival and development of food enterprises. Once a food safety problem occurs, the business will immediately be in trouble and it will be unsustainable.

Affecting social and economic development In the economy of any society, food is undoubtedly one of the most important commodities. Food safety incidents can not only directly cause serious economic losses, but also lead to a decline in productivity and economic losses due to the occurrence of a large number of food-borne diseases. Decreasing benefits, increasing medical expenses, and rising national fiscal expenditures will ultimately hinder national economic development and threaten social stability and national security.

Public health factors that affect food safety, food carried by itself, animals and plants in nature, and some natural ingredients are toxic and harmful substances, all kinds of food that people eat are in the production, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, sales and other links Contaminated by toxic and harmful substances, artificial additives are added to food to improve food quality, color, aroma, taste, as well as the needs of antiseptic and processing technology. Some outlaws are obsessed with their own interests, and for the sake of making huge profits, they maliciously dope it with falsehoods. cause serious food safety problems. Illegal production and operation cause important hidden dangers to food safety problems.

In the current food industry, food needs to go through a series of processing, transportation and storage links from production to final consumption. If there is a loophole in any link, the food may be in an unsafe state, such as contact with the source of infection or storage. Improper food spoilage. RFID technology provides an effective technical way to solve this problem, and it can realize food safety management, traceability and evaluation.

RFID is a non-contact automatic identification technology. It automatically identifies target objects and obtains relevant data through radio frequency signals. Combined with an effective database system and network system, it can realize the tracking and information sharing of items around the world. RFID technology has the advantages of no manual intervention for identification work, batch long-distance reading, low environmental requirements, long service life, data encryption, and changes in storage information. Its application will bring essential changes to food safety traceability management.

2. Application of RFID technology in food safety management at home and abroad
Many developed countries attach great importance to food safety. In addition to establishing relevant legal systems, they also adopt high-tech means to manage food safety. For example, Japan has established a “food ID card system” product history and tracking and monitoring system, requiring production, distribution, etc. Various departments widely use RFID electronic label technology and bar code technology to record the data in the process of product production and circulation in detail.

A cattle tracking system has been established in Europe. In September 1998, the United Kingdom announced a cattle tracking system plan. By the end of 1999, all member states of the European Community had implemented the system plan. The British government stipulated that on July 1, 2000 Cattle born or imported after Japan must adopt an identification system, and RFID electronic tags must be installed within 20 days of birth to record the birth, import, activity, vaccine, disease and death of each cow. With the economic benefits generated by the application of RFID technology in European food safety management, in June 2001, European customers began to emphasize the convenience of fresh agricultural product logistics transportation and traceability, requiring the use of EAN/UCC-128 on packaging Barcodes, promulgated in January 2005 by the European Food Safety Act, put forward traceability requirements for fresh food to take effect. New Zealand kiwis were approved for sale on European supermarket shelves in 2005. In 2003, the UK implemented a standard for the identification of pigs. On January 1, 2008, European regulations made the electronic identification of sheep mandatory.

3. The application of RFID technology in food safety management in my country
In my country, RFID technology has also been used in food safety tracking management, and has received strong support from many local governments. In May 2002, the Ministry of Agriculture issued the “Administrative Measures for Animal Immunization Labeling”, which stipulated that pigs, cattle and sheep must wear immune ear tags. Establish an immunization file management system. The “Hong Kong Food Safety Early Warning and Origin Traceability Control System” implemented in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, in order to ensure the safety of Hong Kong food, the system uses RFID radio frequency identification technology to apply to the breeding, production, processing, transportation, wholesale, ports of food for Hong Kong Inspection, retail and other links. The RFID electronic label attached to the outer packaging of the food contains food inspection information, food growth, production information, storage and transportation packaging information. Hong Kong citizens can trace the source of the food through the electronic label reader. more assured. In Shandong Shouguang Vegetables, within the province, with the help of the golden engineering network platform of Shandong Quality Supervision System, the province’s food safety and quality database is established to provide consumers with dynamic and authoritative food quality traceability information. Sichuan pig breeding, Zhejiang aquatic product export, etc. have successively established RFID traceability systems for food safety management, which effectively guarantees local food safety supervision. These pilot projects have greatly promoted the establishment of my country’s food safety traceability system.

2. Implement quality traceability analysis for food safety
At present, there are not many means of food supply chain safety management, traditional methods cannot achieve traceability management, and barcode technology is used in some food industries for safety traceability. However, this method generally uses manual methods to read barcodes at close range, which cannot obtain the quality information of a large number of foods in real time and quickly, and cannot provide real-time records of the environmental information of the food in the circulation process.

In order to eliminate food safety hazards and track down the processing, transportation or storage links with loopholes, these processes need to be traced back. There are two ways to achieve food safety management in specific applications:

◎ Trace from top to bottom

This method is mainly used to find the cause of quality problems, to determine the origin and characteristics of the product;

◎ Trace from bottom to top

Consumers find safety problems in the food purchased at the POS point of sale, and they can go to the upper layers to finally determine the problem. This method is mainly used for the recall of problematic products.

1. The business process of food safety and quality traceability
1) At the source of food production, whether it is feed information in the process of livestock raising or fertilizer information in the process of vegetable planting, it can be recorded in the food safety database through electronic tags as the original data for future quality traceability.
2) Information such as the manufacturer, operator, processing method and time of the food processing link will also be recorded in the corresponding fields of the database.
3) In the process of food circulation, each link is equipped with a reader device integrating a variety of sensors, and you can try to record the environmental information of the batch of food.
4) During transportation, the reader/writer installed behind the car door will read the electronic label information of the food container in the car at regular intervals, and send it to the food safety management system together with the sensor information for record. The environmental information is basically the same, so integrating the sensor on the reader instead of the electronic tag can greatly reduce the system cost.
5) When the food is transported to the logistics warehouse, the information will also be read and the storage time will be recorded, and the system will automatically allocate the storage area. Readers with integrated sensors are also arranged in the warehouse, which also read tag information and record environmental information at certain time intervals.
6) According to the recorded environmental information, the quality evaluation system of the logistics warehouse will play a role to automatically evaluate the food in stock, but based on the comprehensive judgment of the environmental information, the food that is more likely to deteriorate should be shipped first.
7) After a strict circulation process, safe food will be delivered to consumers, so that consumers can not only know the origin, producer, and production of the food they buy, whether at the table or on the shelf. Date and other information, the food can also be certified according to the food safety assessment system, “enjoy safe food”.
8) Once the food is spoiled, the evaluation system will also change the evaluation results in real time, prompting consumers not to eat it, or notifying retailers to remove it from the shelves as soon as possible.
9) In the event of an emergency, not only the final seller of each piece of food can be found according to the food safety traceability system, but also the links with problems in the circulation or production and processing process, forming a structure with unified government management, coordination and efficient operation. This is also the development trend of the international food safety traceability management mode.

2. System technical scheme
2.1. Working principle
After the electronic tag reader 1 starts to work, it sends an instruction to read the tag 3 to the antenna 2. After the electronic tag 3 on the food 4 receives the radio wave energy from the antenna 2, it sends the serial number information to the antenna 2, and the antenna 2 receives the signal. , and transmit the signal to the reader 1. The reader processes the received signal and then transmits it to the data processing chip 5 integrated in the reader. The sensor 6 respectively sends the measured surrounding environment information to the data processing chip 5, and the data processing chip 5 comprehensively processes the received information, and then sends the processing result to the food safety database 8 through the communication network 7.

2.2, system architecture
The system consists of electronic tags, antennas, readers, sensors for detecting external environmental parameters, food safety databases, food safety assessment algorithms and corresponding service networks. Sensors such as illuminance; use the RFID public service system to form a food safety management system, a quality assessment system and a traceability system based on food quality information and environmental data.

Schematic diagram of RFID food safety management system architecture. The electronic label is pasted on the food or food packaging box, the reader is connected to the antenna, the sensor is integrated with the reader, and the data packets read by it are transmitted to the food safety management database through the network. The information is registered in the RFID public service system, based on the food safety management database, through the integration of supply chain information, the system provides food information services, food safety traceability, food quality assessment and other application services.

The food safety management database is the basis for the system to realize functions and services. It establishes a data record for each food corresponding to the electronic label, which is used to describe its operators and environmental parameters in various circulation links such as food processing, transportation and warehouses. , processing method and time.

In the process of food raw material production, livestock on pastures record information such as feed and vaccines, and agricultural products grown on farms record information such as varieties and fertilization. These information are transmitted to the food safety management system through the network and written into the database.

During the production and processing of food, a unique RFID electronic tag is embedded on its surface or packaging material. Its coding format and number of digits are determined by national food safety standards. The network writes various information that can affect the quality of the food into the food safety database, such as the source of raw materials, processing technology, the name of the processor, product quality information, recommended consumption period, consumption method, etc.

2.3. Application Services
Based on the integration of food safety management database and food supply chain information, the system can provide the following services.
(1) Food information service

Users can enjoy food information services through inquiries.On the dining table, you can get information on the origin, producer (processing), production date, chef, cooking method, etc. of each dish; when you shop in the supermarket, you can get the flow information and safety information of the purchased food.

(2) Food safety traceability

In the event of an outbreak, the food safety management system can quickly find information such as the place of sale, responsible person and product origin. Not only can the final consumer of each piece of food be found according to the food safety traceability system, but also the distribution or production process can be found. Take appropriate measures when problems arise in the process.

(3) Terminal query system

Supermarkets are the main channel for consumers to buy food. Consumers can check the information of the purchased food on the RFID electronic label query terminal provided by the supermarket or the manufacturer.

3. Application of RFID in vegetable supply chain
 1. All links in the vegetable supply chain
The vegetable supply chain, like most agricultural product supply chains, also includes several links such as production, processing, warehousing, transportation and sales. The key to submitting the efficiency of the fresh vegetable supply chain is how to coordinate several links and how to improve the efficiency of each link.The current domestic supply of fresh vegetables is shown in the figure

From the overall vegetable supply chain, it can be seen that by using RFID technology, the information of each link in the entire supply chain can be easily read into the public database, and each link can also easily increase the data of the corresponding link. Consumers and relevant authorities can also inquire and trace through communication networks and terminals.
1.1. Production link

The production link mainly refers to the relatively large-scale and standardized vegetable planting bases. Such production bases generally implement large-scale planting and intensive operation, and have the conditions to adopt RFID technology.

Product name








Fertilizer Details


Pesticide details

Pyridine base

planting time

January 15, 2010

harvest time

March 10, 2010

Feature description


A label can be set for each plot or a variety, and the necessary information in the whole process from planting to packaging and implementation of the plot or variety of vegetables can be input in time through the reading or input device, such as vegetable varieties. , growth time, name and number of pesticides sprayed, fertilizers used, harvest time, etc., and even the description of the characteristics of the variety, according to the agricultural product coding standard, set a number for each type of vegetable as its unique identity. In this way, when the variety of vegetables completes the first link of the supply chain, the electronic tag has stored all its basic information. When the purchasing company purchases vegetable varieties in any plot, it uses data collectors to collect information on agricultural products and agricultural products, which not only speeds up the acquisition speed and reduces the error rate, but also provides agricultural product processing companies with POS systems, EDI ( Basic data of electronic customs clearance system), drug residue testing system, e-commerce and other systems to provide source data for product traceability.Taking the onion of a certain planting base in a certain place as an example, the content contained in the electronic label is as shown in the figure

1.2. Processing link
Since the electronic label can easily add information, in the processing link, the information contained in the electronic label can be read first, and the processing enterprise can add necessary information according to its own needs and the requirements of the relevant competent authorities, such as processing unit, processing date, processing Additives used in the process, package weight, etc. After the data of the processing enterprise is enriched, the origin information and processing link information have been stored in the electronic label. When the end consumer inquires about the product information through the query terminal in the retail or wholesale market, the relevant information can be fully traced. It is also easy and feasible to trace back after an accident.

1.3. Warehousing link
As a seasonal product, vegetables have high requirements on the warehouse environment, especially when the warehouse environment is not good, the storage time of vegetables in the warehouse should be reduced. Data reading, its packaging specifications and packaging weights are automatically read into the computer, and after processing by the computer, the inventory information is formed according to the characteristics of the warehouse, and the instructions for the storage location, shelf and cargo location are output. During the inventory, the terminal reads the electronic label on the vegetable package and records the number of inventory in real time. After the on-site inventory is completed, the inventory personnel confirm the number of inventory and upload it to the background database. The back-end database compares the data uploaded in real time with the data in the system. If there is any surprise in the quantity, the system will automatically generate a difference table for the inventory list, and then submit the data to the superior or instruct the terminal to repeat the inventory, and there is no need for excessive labor when leaving the warehouse. Participate in automatic changes to inventory data. The use of RFID technology greatly accelerates the speed of in-out and warehouse inventory, reduces the error rate, and also provides convenience for using computers for inventory management and improving the automation of warehouse management.

1.4. Transportation
The application of RFID technology in the transportation of fresh vegetables is mainly reflected in the monitoring, tracking and port inspection of goods in transit. Combining RFID technology and GPS can provide real-time monitoring and tracking services for logistics companies, and at the same time, owners can easily know where their goods have arrived through the computer network. When passing through the port for inspection, the inspection unit does not need to After unpacking vegetables, you can know the specific content of the packaged products only through the handheld reader, which greatly improves the speed of port inspection and relieves the pressure of port congestion.

1.5. Sales link
The application of RFID technology in the retail chain is reflected in the anti-theft of vegetables in retail stores or supermarkets, the monitoring of vegetable validity period and temporary sales. RFID anti-theft technology is to put electronic tags into commodity packaging, and the computer system can monitor the tags of various commodities in the store in real time through on-site readers and other supporting facilities. In this way, retailers can open shelves with confidence, and RFID electronic tags can monitor the validity period of some time-sensitive commodities, such as tracking a certain food. Once the validity period is exceeded, the label will issue an alarm.

The application of RFID technology in the fresh vegetable supply chain can not only ensure the high-quality data exchange of the supply chain, but also realize the tracking of food “source” and the complete transparency of the vegetable supply chain. This is because RFID systems provide a detailed and unique view of the supply chain by providing individual identification and storage and transportation history for each vegetable product, ensuring the provenance of vegetable products arriving on supermarket shelves and restaurant kitchens is clear .

3. Introduction to the main equipment of the system
3.1, RFID reader
VF-447N is a high-performance reader, using ARM dual-core processor, integrated TCP/IP network communication interface, can be connected with up to 4 antennas, which can easily form an RFID reading and identification network.

Specification Description

Product Model (Order Code)


physical properties






Operating temperature

-10°C to 55°C

storage temperature

-20°C to 80°C


10% to 95%

Protection class


Number of antennas

2 SMA (VT-447N))/ 4 SMA (VT-447N))

power supply

External 110 – 240 VAC power adapter

Frequency Range

902 – 928 MHz (customized upon request)

RF output power


air interface protocol

EPC Class 1 Gen 2

Communication Interface


3.2, RFID handheld terminal reader
VH-70 can realize mobile reading, stable product performance and industrial-grade design, can meet indoor and outdoor all-weather work, and can be used in product sampling, information collection and other links. The product comes with WinDowsCE operating system, and integrates various modules such as Bluetooth, WIFI, GPS, one-dimensional barcode and so on.

Specification Description

Product Model (Order Code)


physical properties






Operating temperature

-15°C to 50°C

storage temperature

-20°C to 60°C


5% to 95%

Protection class


drop specification

Can withstand 1.2m

Built-in optional modules

HF high frequency, UHF ultra high frequency, 1D, 2D barcode


Support Bluetooth, WiFi, GSM/GPRS communication

Read and write distance

Related to the antenna (reading distance:>0.5m; writing distance:>0.2m)

Frequency Range

902 – 928 MHz (customized upon request)

RF output power


air interface protocol

EPC Class 1 Gen 2

Communication Interface

RS232; Bluetooth Class2 V1.1; wireless network conforms to IEEE802.11b/g standard; GSM/GPRS communication module

power supply

3.7V 3200mAh Li-ion battery

operating system

Windows CE 5.0 operating system (multilingual)




Flash 64/128MB; RAM 64/128MB

SD slot

Maximum support 1GB FLASH RAM


3.5inQVGA (240*320 pixels) 64K color


25+1 alphanumeric backlit keyboard/support handwriting input


Integrated temperature and vibration sensors for industrial inspection/point inspection


USB data cable; car charging cable; leather backpack; screen protector

3.3, VMID-1000 self-service terminal
VMID-1000 is an industrial-grade computer, which can be used as RFID information display and query operation terminal.

Product shape

operating system:

Microsoft Windows CE.NET4.2


Intel PXA255, 400MHz


128MB On Board


8.4″ TFT, SVGA 800*600

External I/O interface:

CF Type II slot; SD/MMC slot (memory card); USB Host Ports (2);

USB 1.1Client/RS232 interface; infrared port;

Built-in I/O interface:

Built-in UART interface, can use long-distance RF module and Bluetooth module


Rechargeable lithium battery 4400mAh (7.4V)


Input AC90V—265V, 47—63Hz, output 12V


1.6kg (including battery)

Industry Standard:

IP54, 1.2 meters drop resistance



4. Application solutions of RFID in pig management
Over the past 10 years, animal epidemics around the world have continued to break out, such as mad cow disease, foot and mouth disease, avian influenza, etc., which have brought serious harm to people’s health and life, and hit the animal husbandry industry all over the world. RFID identification and tracking of animals has become one of the major measures. Animal identification and tracking refers to a technology that uses a specific label to correspond to the animal to be identified by a certain technical means, and can track and manage the relevant attributes of the animal at any time.

Install an RFID electronic tag on the animal and write an ID code representing the animal. When the animal enters the identification range of the RFID fixed reader, or the staff takes the handheld reader close to the animal, the reader will automatically identify the animal’s data information. By transferring the data of the reader to the animal management information system, the tracking of animals can be realized. Farms can not only monitor the health status of aquaculture products, trace the cause of disease or death of aquaculture products, but also use RFID to achieve scientific management of breeding, breeding, feeding and other processes of aquaculture products.

1. The basic method of installing electronic tags on animals
The basic methods of animal installation of electronic tags include collar type, ear tag type, injection type and pill type electronic tags.

2. RFID pig management solution
With the opening of the market, the live pig and pork markets inevitably have a series of problems, such as market chaos, lack of unified management, and serious hygiene problems. The existence of these problems has seriously hindered the healthy development of the pork market. Animal tracking and identification is a technology that uses specific labels to correspond to the animals to be identified by some technical means, and can track and manage the relevant attributes of animals at any time. An application of animal tracking and identification in the pig management system, it provides excellent conditions for strengthening the feeding of livestock and regularly checking the health of livestock.

3. System composition
The system is mainly composed of hardware equipment, system software and other equipment. The hardware equipment includes ear tags, data collectors, and data transmitters; system software includes data collection, information release, database, and other equipment including computers, printers, etc.
4. System introduction
The working principle of the pig management system is shown in the figure. It has three parts: feeding farm, slaughterhouse and sales. The scheme is designed in accordance with the requirements of modern management, and realizes all-round computer management of the source of livestock, daily feeding, vaccination and immunization and other related aspects. Its goal is to improve the efficiency of livestock management operations and improve the quality of livestock.

(1) The feedlot management module is responsible for the health management and daily management of livestock.
Its main functions are as follows.
Specified conditions (livestock number, breeder number, birth time, animal husbandry time, slaughter time) browse and query.
Specify the conditions (livestock number, breeder number, birth time, animal husbandry time, slaughter time) to print related data statistical reports.
Supports feedlots of different sizes.
Supports the day-to-day management of livestock.
Daily inquiries and health consultations for livestock are available.
(2) The slaughterhouse management module is mainly responsible for the management operations after the slaughter of live pigs.
Emphasizes a management model focusing on health and safety.
After the pigs are released, detailed records are required for each operation.
Grade management of live pigs and pork.
(3) The sales management module provides sales time query, pork grade and weight query, production date query, appearance time query, etc.

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