Tech Tuesday

Who says technology and food waste avoidance don’t mix? That combination works quite well–just ask LeanPath.

Which brings us to RFID tags, a microchip with an antenna that transmits information wirelessly to a reader. These tags are are now being used in Europe to track pallets’ progress through the “cool chain.” A Dutch company, a German retailer and a Spanish strawberry grower have teamed up to track the berries temperature on their continental journey.

photo by midnight comm via creative commonsThe RFID tags measure the temperature of each pallet every 15 minutes of the journey and, upon arrival at its destination, wirelessly transmit the info to a computer.

From that point, a program calculates the remaining shelf life of the fruit. That info allows retailers to determine which strawberries are ripest and should be put on display first.

Eelco de Jong, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Ambient Systems (the Dutch company): “It is great to be able to contribute to a reduction in the loss of wasted food.”

While the article doesn’t discuss it, I’m hoping that this advance could lead to smarter expiration dates based on how the product has been handled, not a cautious best guess. That would mean stamping or printing a date on packages at the store, but how hard could that be?

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