Food Provenance: Assuring product integrity and identity

Wallace, Carol Anne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1402-2134 and Manning, L (2020) Food Provenance: Assuring product integrity and identity. CAB Reviews . ISSN 1749-8848

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Food supply chains are highly complex and involve numerous actors who influence food safety and the integrity of products and processes, both at individual points in the supply chain and more holistically throughout the chain as a whole. Provenance can relate to a particular source or origin of a food and its individual ingredients and/or relate to claims on how the product is produced and what marketing claims have been attached to the product. The aim of this review is to consider the recent advances in developing transparent data systems to demonstrate food provenance. One technological development is the use of Blockchain, a data handling structure which provides a secure network of information that cannot be changed or destroyed, distributed between supply chain actors. Other developments in information systems that can be used to monitor a range of criteria include geographic information systems (GIS) which can be linked with, for example, stable isotope analysis to provide an indication of provenance for a given product or ingredient. This technology is used as a case study in this paper to demonstrate the opportunities and limitations to such technological approaches. The review reflects on aspects of provenance and the actions that can be taken at organisational and supply chain level to demonstrate transparency so that consumers can have trust in those procuring, processing and supplying food.

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