That Honey on your toast - Do you know where it is coming from?
Have you ever wondered when you put that bite of vegetables in your mouth, where it is coming from? The egg you ate this morning? What about the honey on your toast? The milk added to your cereal?
There has been a lot of talk about food provenance and traceability in recent times. This is mostly because due to the increasing demand for food and the natural resources to produce them is limited. Hence, many in the food industry are using unethical ways to increase their production. To ensure food safety, it has become very important to know where exactly it is coming from. It is important that we understand the processes that food goes through before it reaches our fork. You want to know what you are putting in your mouth, right!
So what exactly is food traceability?
Traceability is the ability to track any food through all stages of production, processing, and distribution (including importation and at retail). Traceability should mean that movements can be traced one step backward and one step forward at any point in the supply chain.
Food provenance means:
- knowing where food was grown, caught or raised
- knowing how the food was produced
- knowing how the food was transported
For food processing businesses, traceability should extend to being able to identify the source of all food inputs such as:
- raw materials
- other ingredients
Under EU law, “traceability” means the ability to track any food, feed, food-producing animal or substance that will be used for consumption, through all stages of production, processing, and distribution.
Why is traceability needed? Traceability is a way of responding to potential risks that can arise in food and feed, to ensure that all food products are safe to eat. It is vital that when national authorities or food businesses identify a risk they can trace it back to its source in order to swiftly isolate the problem and prevent contaminated products from reaching consumers. In addition, traceability allows targeted withdrawals and the provision of accurate information to the public, thereby minimizing disruption to trade.
There are a number of reasons why traceability is an essential goal for the food and beverage industry. Because of its essential role in maintaining food safety, traceability requires producers to have sound, integrated systems in place to ensure effective controls, both in day-to-day operations but also in the case of a contamination or other safety issue.
When an incident occurs, traceability allows for a prompt response, providing for diagnosis and mitigation.
Traceability also helps food processors, and in some cases entire industries, to recover faster, restoring public confidence in the product, company, industry, and food supply. Finally, traceability plays an important role in future preventative measures that are put in place after an incident.
Traceability would help determine the below mentioned:
- Where and how foods are grown, reared, or caught and the primary and secondary stages of processing and production.
- How processing affects the sensory and nutritional properties of ingredients.
- The impact of food and food security on the environment, local and global markets and communities.
- Technological developments that claim to support better health and food production, including fortification and modified foods with health benefits and the efficacy of these
Food traceability is a concern due to the following reasons:
- More foodborne illness: high visibility cases of Escherichia coli, Listeria, Salmonella, etc.
- Higher number and visibility of recalls
- The rise in fraudulent activities in the food chain and counterfeit products
- More products coming from countries with lower health and safety standards
- Higher risk of contamination or spoilage due to long, complex supply chains
- Increased threat of terrorism
Traceability is most relevant when it comes to public health. Whether we are talking about food safety or food defense, emergency planning can be broken into four phases:
1. Preparedness: When planning for an emergency situation, traceability provides greater visibility into a supply chain, thereby helping be better prepared if something goes wrong.
2. Response: In case something goes wrong, traceability improves the agility of the response by all stakeholders.
3. Recovery: During the recovery phase, traceability allows the industry and regulators to maintain or rebuild trust with consumers into the safety and resiliency of the food system.
4. Prevention: Traceability allows for the determination of causality of the problem through root cause analysis, thereby preventing future issues.
Traceability of EIWA Honey:
EIWA’s IoT enabled technology provides real-time information on a lot of aspects of beekeeping that primarily support the beekeepers to improve the harvesting and extraction processes and increase productivity and improves the quality of the honey. It also enables them to take care of the bees well. Which is what brings a world of difference in the concept of beekeeping.
For consumers, this technology provides details like the place of origin of the single-origin honey(meaning the farm location from where the nectar is obtained and processed by the bees), harvest details like date of harvest, type of flora and the bee species. This kind of detail has never been available to the consumers and the aim is to provide complete transparency to the process and in turn educate consumers regarding the products they are consuming.
To track the origin of your honey, follow the following steps:
- Look for the QR code on the cap of the Eiwa Honey Bottle
- Scan it using a QR CODE scanner app or your camera (in case of iPhones).
- You will be redirected to a link showing the farmer details and the location details of the farm from where the honey originated.
Ta-da! 3 steps and you know exactly what you are consuming! Happy Eating!