Biotechnol. & Biotechnol. Eq. 20/2006/1
IDENTIFICATION AND TRACEABILITY OF MEATAND MEAT PRODUCTS
, G. Angelova
University of Food Technology, Department of “Meat & Fish Technology”, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
“Digest” Ltd., Design & Engineering, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
With the expansion of global trade, com-puterization and communications, plainlanguage descriptions of products andservices, need to be replaced by identifica-tion and product tracing systems that areusable in all trade and industry sectorsworldwide. Traceability is increasinglybecoming standard across the agri-foodindustry, largely driven by recent food cri-ses and the consequent demands for trans-parency within the food chain.Product traceability is the process of maintaining records of all materials andparts from purchasing to finished goodswhere a unique number identify a part,batch, or a finished product. Traceability inthe food industry must aim to create a link between the various steps in the entire foodchain, so-called “from farm to work”.These steps must cover animal productionat the farm, processing in meat plants andother food premises, distribution to whole-salers and retailers and right through to themoment the food is placed on the con-sumer’s table. Tracing of animals can pro-vide greater confidence in certificationschemes, especially regarding their disease-free status (6, 9).Traceability also forms an essential com-ponent of any risk management strategyand is a key requirement for post-marketingsurveillance. Traceability provides theability to identify and track a product or acomponent to its point of origin. The pointof origin may be a particular lot or batch,production line and time frame, field, orsupplier. Product traceability is very im-portant to reliability. If a particular lot of acritical component is found to be defectiveafter being used in product that is alreadysold, traceability provides a means of iden-tifying the units for recall. The meat pro-ducts require complete traceability (1, 9).The quality of meat products are deter-mined by a complex of indexes – organo-leptical, technological, hygienically. Thereare a lot of factors impacting on them. Asresults of the advance of meat science, newrequirements about meat quality, nutritionaland biological values and safety havearisen (13). Here are some of the benefitsand solutions provided with product identi-fication and tracing (6):
Procedures for identifying and tracing theproduct during all stages of production,delivery & installation.
Requires knowing what parts comprisethe product, their specification, theirstatus, etc.
Requires knowing the exact content of products that have been delivered to eachcustomer so that the right customer ser-vice can be provided.
Helps to satisfy “Process Control”.
The increasing role of traceability leads tothe development of a range of traceabilityconcepts and technologies adapted to dif-ferent industry need. These concepts andsystems have been promoted through bothprivate and public sector initiatives andthus have sought to address different needs;