The “Food Chains Traceability” demonstrator

Supporting food traceability & transparency

Food traceability is a vital aspect of the modern food industry. In an era where consumers are increasingly concerned about the origin and safety of the products they consume, understanding the steps in the food chain and embracing transparency have become paramount. Food traceability allows us to follow the journey of our food from farm to fork, ensuring accountability and fostering trust between producers and consumers.

In the FNS-cloud project, we have developed an app to collect, integrate, and visualise food supply chain data that can be searched to understand how different factors impact food quality, safety, traceability, transparency, and authenticity. 

Traceability Search Engine

Our Traceability Search Engine is tailored for scientific food data and focused on data findability. It has three different search features:

  1. The “Simple Search” allows users to find datasets related to nutritional quality, food safety, authenticity and many more.
  2. The “Table Search” allows the search of datasets by cross-referencing two different sets of tags from four groups: Supply Chain Steps (e.g. cultivation or catch, storage, transport, food preparation, etc), FNS-Cloud Topics (e.g. Authenticity, Composition, Safety, etc), Parameters of Interest (e.g. chemical substances), and Access Mode (e.g. open or restricted).
  3. The “Advanced Search” allows filtering datasets by several tags and metadata (Country, Region, Language, Start Year, End Year, etc.).

Three specific food supply chains were examined (olive oil, milk, and fishery products) in order to collect, integrate, organise and make available data relating to each step of each chain.

Research context

To show how the Traceability Search Engine can be used in a research context, the demonstrator focussed on different research questions related to examining nutritional quality, food safety, and authenticity along different food chains. Examples of those questions are:

  1. How do agricultural practices in animal husbandry affect nutritional composition?
  2. What are the nutritional differences between wild and farmed fish?
  3. Does geographical origin of olive oil impact shelf-life and health benefits?
    Target audience

    Researchers, food businesses and any stakeholder interested in finding datasets related to traceability of foods, nutritional quality, food safety and authenticity along the food supply chain.

    The developed model can be very useful for all actors involved in the food supply chain, both to have a quick graphical visualisation of the entire supply chain and for searching, finding and re-using available food data and information.

    Related publication

    Palocci, C.; Presser, K.; Kabza, A.; Pucci, E.; Zoani, C. A Search Engine Concept to Improve Food Traceability and Transparency: Preliminary Results. Foods 202211, 989. 

    Related media

    An annotated manual will be available.

    Food Nutrition Security Cloud (FNS-Cloud) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (H2020-EU. – A sustainable and competitive agri-food industry) under Grant Agreement No. 863059. Information and views set out across this website are those of the Consortium and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of the European Union. Neither European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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