IoT-based tracking and tracing platform for prepackaged food supply chain

Zhi Li, Guo Liu, Layne Liu, Xinjun Lai, Gangyan Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose an effective and economical management platform to realize real-time tracking and tracing for prepackaged food supply chain based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and finally ensure a benign and safe food consumption environment. 

Design/methodology/approach – Following service-oriented architecture, a flexible layered architecture of tracking and tracing platform for prepackaged food is developed. Besides, to reduce the implementation cost while realizing fine-grained tracking and tracing, an integrated solution of using both the QR code and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag is proposed. Furthermore, Extensible Markup Language (XML) is adopted to facilitate the information sharing among applications and stakeholders. 

Findings – The validity of the platform has been evaluated through a case study. First, the proposed platform is proved highly effective on realizing prepackaged food tracking and tracing throughout its supply chain, and can benefit all the stakeholders involved. Second, the integration of the QR code and RFID technologies is proved to be economical and could well ensure the real-time data collection. Third, the XML-based method is efficient to realize information sharing during the whole process. 

Originality/value – The contributions of this paper lie in three aspects. First, the technical architecture of IoT-based tracking and tracing platform is developed. It could realize fine-grained tracking and tracing and could be flexible to adapt in many other areas. Second, the solution of integrating the QR code and RFID technologies is proposed, which could greatly decrease the cost of adopting the platform. Third, this platform enables the information sharing among all the involved stakeholders, which will further facilitate their cooperation on guaranteeing the quality and safety of prepackaged food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1906-1916
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Food supply chain
  • Internet of Things
  • Prepackaged food
  • Tracing
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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