First of its kind in the world and uses RFID technology
Bandar Seri Begawan - The ability to track and ascertain the 'halalness' of a food product in local supermarkets and food stores is set to become a reality for consumers in the country, as the current progress to generate a unique system utilising the radio-frequency identification (RFID) is well underway.
The pre-launch event of the RFID Halal Food Traceability System is a testimony to this evolvement, conducted at the Hua Ho Department Store in Tanjung Bunut yesterday.
The guests of honour were Dato Paduka Hj Awg Alaihuddin bin POKDSLDSU Hj Awg Mohamad Taha, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications, and Awg Hj Abd Aziz bin OKML Hj Mohd Yusof, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The Chief Executive of Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam Hj Yahkup Hj Menudin, was also among the attendees at the pre-launch.
Affirming the RFID Halal Food Traceability System managed by AITI in concerted efforts to widen the usage of RFID nationwide, Hj Yahkup in his speech cited the tremendous potential of RFID technology for further development, especially in the food, medical, logistics and transport industries in the country.
RFID, he explained, offers an alternative to the procedure of tracking and identifying products wirelessly, and in the classification of 'halal' food products, consumers can get validation in terms of various information effectively and comprehensively.
RFID will also enable the enforcement authorities to validate the authenticity of the Brunei Halal logo by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Elaborating further, Hj Yahkup elucidated that this pilot project is conducted through the preparation of the halal infrastructure system in four locations, namely the Halal Food Control Section of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Golden Chicks Abattoir, BMC Food Industries and Hua Ho Department Store in Tanjung Bunut. AITI, he said, will continue to explore opportunities to generate a market amongst government agencies and the private sector that utilises RFID through Brunei-made RFID ICT Solutions.
Both the guests of honour went to the 'chicken parts' section and other halal products that utilise the RFID tags, as John Lim from John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd explained the workings of the system.
According to John Lim, this local-made system is the "first of its kind in the world" that caters to the `halal' market. He explained that a RFID tag will be embedded into the packaging material of the food products in retail stores for consumers to authenticate the product's status and obtain range of information including the slaughtering processes, source of ingredients, manufacturing and expiry dates.
The project is also the culmination of concerted efforts between AITI and the Halal Food Control Section of the Ministry of Religious Affairs - the first RFID pilot project by a government agency.
RFID systems can track not only the "halalness" of food products, but can also assist companies in food safety and food inventory. The public crucially can determine for themselves if the food displayed at the food stores are 'halal' almost instantly through their smart phones that have a scanner, One has only to scan the RFID tag into the food products and packages, and information can be obtained online on their respective devices such as smart phones.
Developed by the local ICT company, John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd, the Brunei Halal Authentication system can be attached to the Brunei Halal logo, consequently establishing the Brunei's Halal Authenticity and Traceability System. The initial focus under this pilot project that has been carried out for six months involves detection of chicken and raw meat produced by Golden Chick Abattoir.
The past few years have seen AITI actively promoting the usage of RFID technology in Brunei through several initiatives that included the setup of its own RFID Showcase Gallery and training of local resources and developers.
RFID is one of the niche areas with the potential for development of various applications in Brunei by the local ICT players.
According to AITI, they will continue efforts to encourage the development of local RFID applications and hope to rollout more pilot programmes of this kind with other relevant agencies in its endeavour to expand the adoption of RFID and promote Brunei-made ICT products for growth and sustainability of the local ICT industry.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin