Infratab Freshtime blockchain sensor for fresh seafood honored in AIM competition
Smart sensor and software developer Infratab, Inc. was awarded with top recognition in AIM’s 2019 Case Study Competition in the blockchain category for its “RFID Tags & Blockchain for the Seafood Cold Chain” entry.
An annual contest put on by AIM – a global association for the automatic identification industry – the Case Study Competition aims to honor “those who have developed and delivered compelling solutions that contribute to the growth and advancement of automatic identification and data capture,” according to the event’s description.
For its winning case study, Infratab focused on its work with researchers from the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology and the School of Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) on the implementation of Infratab Freshtime – a condition-intelligent RF sensor blockchain solution – for a fresh fish producer and leading Greek supermarket chain AB Vassilopoulos.
“We’re honored by AIM’s recognition of our work bringing blockchain security to cold chain monitoring” said Therese Myers, CEO of Infratab, regarding the AIM accolades, “By providing access to perishables’ real-time shelf life status and creating unalterable blockchain records, Freshtime gives producers and retailers the tools they need to reduce product waste and ensure their customers get the quality they expect.”
The primary challenge at the core of the case study involved the producer and retailer manually measuring and recording the temperature of fresh fish at each step of distribution, a technique rife with opportunities for human error and unnecessary food waste.
“If arrival temperature was found to be within the acceptable range, the fish’s shelf-life was assumed to be as expected and no corrective actions were taken. If a fixed expiry date had been exceeded when the fish was received at the supermarket, the fish would be tossed. This cold chain monitoring system, typical in most perishable supply chains, often results in unnecessary food waste or disappointed consumers,” explained Infratab.
To alleviate these concerns, the case study implemented and tested Infratab Freshtime, a temperature monitoring tag and software solution, to provide real‐time shelf life status to product handlers. The device employs dual RF (RAIN and NFC) temperature and shelf life tags, a mobile smartphone application to handle the tags, and a cloud database for data storage, reporting, analytics, and blockchain updates. Its analytical model, which is validated by microbiological sampling conducted by NTUA researchers, has the ability to predict how much shelf life for the fish has been used as well as how much remains. This information is transferred to blockchain records and relayed to handlers via alerts, as well as when items are scanned with the device’s smarphone-optimized mobile app.
“Infratab's Freshtime solution provides a powerful monitoring tool assuring a reliable cold chain of highly perishable products,” said Professor Petros S. Taoukis, NTUA’s lead researcher on the project, “This toolset capitalizes on our kinetic models for shelf life prediction and applies them in the real food chain.”
Image courtesy of Infratab, Inc.