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Development of Tracers for Grain Tracing System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  076032.(doi:10.13031/2013.23405)
Authors:   Ruixiu Sui, J Alex Thomasson, Timothy Herrman
Keywords:   Food safety; traceability; tracer; grains; tracing system

Food safety and traceability are at the forefront of government and industry considerations around the world. To address domestic food safety and quality issues and retain their comparative advantage in the global market, U.S. grain producers and handlers must implement a system that can trace grain back to the farm. Research has recently been conducted for developing a global tracing system to rapidly identify the origin of grain in a bulk shipment, enabling trace-back all the way to individual farm fields. One of the key elements in the research is the development of a tracer that carries identity of the grain. This paper reported the development of two types of tracers for the grain tracing system. Starch-based tracer was made of starch and powdered sugar, and the sugar-based was made of processed sucrose powder with dextrins. Both types of tracer are food-grade and no protein is included in their ingredients. They will not contaminate the grain and will not introduce food allergens. Hardness of the tracers is adequate to resist breakage during mechanical delivery into the grain, as it is transferred from the combine to a truck, and as it flows along with the grain. The surface texture of the tracers allows marking identification codes which can be identified by electronic devices. These tracers have great potential for application in the grain tracing system.

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