PEF School 2015

Integrated traceability chain


The integrated traceability chain is a tool for quality control of products and consumer protection to be used to verify the typicality of food (certification of origin as in the case of DOP and IGP), the safety of products and to claim the purity of the formulations (products "GMO free"). In the integrated traceability systems to the information to be registered according to the current regulations are associated different product information and specificity (chemical, physical, nutritional and sensory characteristics) traced, namely monitored from raw material to finished product retracing its food supply chain.



Technological field

Traceability systems of food products.



Principle of operation

The principle of operation consists in the characterization of molecular-genetic and chemico-physical properties of raw materials, semi-finished products taken from significant points of the transformation process and finished products.

Information resulting from the analytical characterizations can be used as a marker to "trace" along the production chain, from raw material producer to the consumer, any product.

These information can be encoded and communicated to the consumer through barcode, RFID tags, tracking codes.



Technical sheet

The know-how of ProdAl includes:

- The development of analytical protocols of genetic-molecular (fingerprinting, proteomics) and physico-chemical (identification of compounds that characterize the product typicality) determinations

- Previous studies on the application of analytical protocols developed for the traceability of specific production chains (Annurca apple's derivatives, olive oil, wine)

- Development of ICT systems for integrated traceability chain.

Integrated traceability systems for products derived from fruit and vegetables and typical products for which the method can be reasonably proposed were carried out.



Technological benchmark vs state of the art

Traceability is generally defined as the "ability to trace and follow a food, a feed, a food-producing animal, and any other substance intended to be or expected to be part of a food or feed, through all stages of production, processing and distribution"(Reg.178/2002 - Art. 3).

A traceability system is an effective tool for managing food safety, protecting the fairness of trade between the operators and the reliability of information provided to consumers. In the application of existing legislation what is so essential for the tracking is not so much the geographical origin or the place of processing or packaging of the product, as the name of the companies that participated in the production and will therefore have the responsibility. Therefore, "traceability" becomes a synonym for "traceability of responsibility" but not of food quality.




  • Applicability of the traceability tool in complex supply chains.
  • Modular approach to the analysis of the production chain.
  • Flexibility and adaptability of the methods of control for different types of product.
  • Valorisation of typical products and prevention of consumer fraud.
  • Transparency and food safety.



  • Need to adapt the tools of analytical control to the specific chain of interest.
  • Identification of molecular markers unaffected by the process of transforming raw materials.
  • Applicability to local and high added value products.



Stage of development of ProdAl

ProdAl has developed its know-how on methods of fingerprinting and physico-chemical characterization and has already conducted experimental work on the application to certain commodity sectors.

Therefore, it is able to offer assistance in the development of new systems of traceability, in the verification of typical product and in the promotion of new productions and certification of brand products.





Agri-food companies.



Forms of collaboration

  • Consulting to assess the feasibility of an integrated supply chain.
  • Support for the development of software for the integrated traceability chain.
  • Testing of product for the enhancement of typical and certification of the origin of brand products.



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