Traceability in the food supply chain

E.J. Kok, M. van der Spiegel, T.W. Prins, V. Manti, M.J. Groot, M.G.E.G. Bremer, L.W.D. van Raamsdonk, H.J. van der Fels, S.M. van Ruth

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Traceability of food implies the ability to trace and follow a food, feed, or a food-producing animal or substance intended to be, or expected to be, incorporated into a food or feed, through all stages of production, processing, and distribution. The importance of traceability has grown due to the consumers' increasing attention to food safety and food quality, and due to the increasing complexity of food supply chains. There are several types of food traceability depending on how traceability is obtained and on what information it concerns, i.e., conventional traceability, genetic traceability, and geographic traceability. Optical, electronic, and biological identification methods are used to identify and transfer the information. The aim of this chapter is to explain the basic characteristics of traceability systems in the supply chain and to list the developments in this area. An extensive overview of analytical systems is described that may verify documentary information on the basis of analyses, i.e., DNA-based methods, chemical verification methods, visual markers for the determination of food and feed, and sensory analysis. It is concluded that in future new traceability systems will be developed that combine logistical data with analytical data that are derived from more informative multiplex approaches, increasingly comprising also data from different types of analytical approaches. In this way, the consumer may be even better informed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationChemical Analysis of Food, Techniques and Application
    EditorsY. Pico
    Place of PublicationSan Diego
    Number of pages798
    ISBN (Print)9780123848628
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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