RFID technology could be widely used with super-chilling of meat during transport in Norway, with interest piqued as more plastic pallets are replacing wooden ones, according to research conducted by RFID specialist Hrafn

LOS ANGELES , December 7, 2011 () – Super-chilling of meat during shipment in Norway could benefit from using radio frequency identification technology (RFID) monitoring, according to a RFID specialist Hrafn Ltd., reported Food Production Daily on Dec. 7.

The Norwegian meat industry is studying the use of super-chilling within the supply chain, which could extend the shelf life of meat products by weeks, said Geir Vevle, chief technology officer at Hrafn, a research consultancy based in Trondheim, Norway.

The technique is more widely used for fish than for meat, he said.

The interest in RFID technology has increased within Norway’s food industry since food trade group Norsk Lastbærer Pool AS has been shifting from wooden pallets to plastic ones that can have the RFID chips embedded in them, said Vevle, Food Production Daily reported.

A recent study to determine the effectiveness of RFID technology to track meat temperatures during a 14-hour drive to a distribution center was done by Hrafn with research organization Sintef and Fatland Olen slaughterhouse.

The results are still being assessed and a completed analysis which will determine if the proper temperatures were maintained in the truck and if online monitoring was beneficial is expected by Dec. 31, reported Food Production Daily.

Preliminary results show that Hrafn’s EPC Information Services (EPCIS) standard system was not able to collect all the data because the signals from RFID tags were blocked by densely-packed meat.

Only three of the 13 temperature sensors sent data to the RFID reader during transport, but the tags could still be assessed when the truck arrived and used for logging total journey data, said Vevle, Food Production Daily reported.

Combining the Quick Response (QR) codes on temperature tags and the capabilities of RFID tags used for logging are worth considering, as they record the packing, storage and shipping events, he said.

The quality of chilled meat products is assured when temperatures stay colder than zero degrees Celsius but do not fall below minus 1.7 degrees Celsius, said Vevle, reported Food Production Daily.

The primary source of this article is Food Production Daily, Montpellier, France, on Dec. 7, 2011.

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