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IARRP proposes method to optimize smart supply chain management in the context of COVID-19

By IARRP | Updated: 2022-04-08

Researchers from the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning (IARRP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine have proposed a smart supply chain management method based on the Internet of Things and blockchain, which can realize risk prediction and full traceability and rapid recall, providing innovative ideas and effective means for the food cold chain during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The results are titled "Food cold chain management improvement: A conjoint analysis on COVID-19 and food cold chain systems" and published in "Food Control".

According to Ph.D. Supervisor Qian Jianping, the cold chain logistics has developed rapidly in recent years as an important means to maintain the quality of perishable food, ensure food quality and safety and reduce food loss. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, incidents of cold chain workers contracting the novel coronavirus and the detection of the novel coronavirus on food packaging have occurred from time to time. Reducing the risk of the novel coronavirus contamination of cold chain food and optimizing the whole process management and traceability of the cold chain have become urgent problems to be solved.

After analyzing 45 food cold chain incidents related to COVID-19 in China, the research team constructed an intelligent risk early warning model that integrates different food cold chain temperatures and key control points in the cold chain process. A technical framework for digital management of food cold chain based on the Internet of Things and blockchain technology was proposed, and a prototype system composed of cold chain environmental monitoring equipment, a cold chain risk early warning model and cold chain blockchain management and traceability platform was developed.

The system can effectively reduce the risk of novel coronavirus transmission through cold chain food and improve global food cold chain management through prior risk warning, in-process management, and post-event retrospective recall. The research results are of great significance for addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic related to the food cold chain and reducing the impact of the pandemic on international trade by establishing an international cooperation mechanism.

The research was co-funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP).

Paper link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2022.108940