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2011 RFID Journal Awards: Reducing Food Waste and Setting the Standard

Intelleflex's battery-assisted passive sensor tags and readers make tracking perishable goods easier and more cost-effective. And Impinj's Chris Diorio brought together people and technologies to create the global ultrahigh-frequency specification.
Aug 15, 2011—Presented below are the winners of two of this year's RFID Journal Awards. Intelleflex won the award for Best New RFID Product, while Impinj's Chris Diorio won this year's Special Achievement Award.

Reducing Food Spoilage and Waste
By Paul Prince

Tracking and monitoring perishable foods with sensor-equipped RFID tags can deliver many business benefits to food producers and grocers, including reduced waste and longer shelf life. If distributors can determine in real or near-real time when food conditions have been compromised, they can correct the problem by, for instance, rerouting a shipment to a closer location or advising retailers to sell the goods upon arrival. That, in turn, means safer, more appealing foods for customers. And by reducing waste in the supply chain and making the food supply safer, we could take a step toward ending world hunger, according to the United Nations' World Food Programme.

RFID Journal has covered the progress as RFID technology providers have developed more reliable tags, and food producers have tested and deployed systems to track fruits and vegetables from the field to the retail store. But technology limitations have prevented widespread adoption. Intelleflex's new TMT-8500 temperature-monitoring battery-assisted passive tag promises to make it easier and more cost-effective to monitor the condition of perishables.

The TMT-8500—a semi-passive ultrahigh-frequency temperature-tracking tag—has advantages over both active and high-frequency (HF) semi-passive tags. Active tags, which rely on an onboard battery to power both the sensor embedded in the tag and the data transmission between the tag and reader, have a long read range but are expensive. HF semi-passive tags cost less, but have a read range of only about 10 inches.
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