Preprint version. Packaging Technology and Science, Volume 23, Issue 4, June 1, 2010, pages 217-226. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: An Evaluation of the Ability of RFID Tags to Withstand Distribution of Fresh Produce in the RPC Pooling System, J. Singh, S. P. Singh, K. Desautels, K. Saha, E. Olsen, Packaging Technology and Science, 23:4, Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Blackwell., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pts.891.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Koushik Saha was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
This study focused on the ability of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags applied on reusable plastic containers (RPCs) to withstand repeated abuse due to physical distribution and storage environment related hazards. It also studied the effect of the chemical cleaning environments that RPCs are commonly exposed to in the pooling/rental systems commonly used to distribute fresh produce. RPCs are being successfully deployed in the US, Europe and Asia to ship fresh produce from growers to retailers. The increasing demand for traceability and tracking of fresh produce from ‘farm to fork’ requires these containers to be monitored and identified in the food supply chain, and RFID technology provides one of the solutions. This study compared eight commercially available RFID tags mounted on RPCs for use in fresh produce distribution and subjected them to repeated physical and climatic cycles representing the distribution and cleaning environments, and their effective ‘read’ capabilities were tested.