The FDA is Updating its Food Traceability Rules. AI Food Tracking Technology Can Help Companies Prepare.


Thanks to new regulations in Europe and the United States, a spotlight on food traceability is intensifying. Food traceability systems track food products throughout the supply chain, which reduces waste and helps authorities respond swiftly to safety incidents. How should companies invest in food tracing technology to build consumer trust?

The new regulations out of the FDA, which will come into effect on January 20, 2026, mandate restaurants to adhere to new traceability rules. Restaurants will have to record Key Data Elements, like the location of the supplier and the quantity of produce received, introducing new complex dynamics that are sure to test relationships and coordination across the food supply chain. Experts believe that the integration of AI technology in food traceability strategies will be a key investment to adapt to these new rules, as AI can help address the massive and intricate nature of food supply chains while contextualizing food data to boost consumer confidence in traceability systems. 

Thought AI could be useful for food traceability accuracy and context, where should companies across the supply chain start to invest in AI tech properly and with cross-industry collaboration in mind?

For a deeper dive into the intersection of AI and the food supply chain, we turn to Indika Edirisinghe, Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Dr. Edirisinghe is the Associate Director for Nutrition Research at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where his research primarily focuses on investigating the effects of dietary constituents on vascular disease, including the evaluation of endothelium function and the inflammatory and oxidative stress responses during both acute and chronic interventions.


Indika’s Thoughts

“We need to get into this new [era]. We are in a new era. We are in the era of artificial intelligence, right? We are in the era of cyber security. And I think, you know, we have to come up with something in those areas, cybersecurity and AI, to help this whole operation. Because it is not easy to just like adding like a barcode and you track the barcode throughout. It’s not going to be easy like that because [this] is massive. And so we have to have AI technology developed and period, that’s it. We have to find a database that is driven by science so that the database has the knowledge to make scientific decisions relevant to this one. And I think that the tracing system has to come from AI technology.

So it can affect in several pathways. So one is, when you get the AI technology developed, right, [the] consumer will increase the confidence because it is not driven by humans, you know, because if somebody is making a decision, there’s a chance that they are going to make the decision based on some conflict of interest, bias, right? And so those are going to be there. But if AI-driven and it is data-based, based on the data, scientific data, the consumer will enhance their confidence. That’s one side. And from the industry perspective also, they can avoid going through these bureaucratic approval processes, because we have a system in place, right? Otherwise, it’s a line of management. You know, there’ll be peoples reporting to you and you know, about you and then, you know, it’s going through this, it’s going to be a big problem. But the AI technology, I think, will take care of all those things. And it’s going to take time to develop this, right? It needs a lot of knowledge, but I think, you know, the government has to initiate this one. That’s my feeling, okay? Because when the government initiates, they can put the policies in place. You know, if there’s a system, how the system looks like, because if you give it to industry, you know, again, the consumer confidence won’t be there, okay? Although the industry will do a remarkably good job, you know, it always needs government input so that they know that it has gone through rigorous regulatory compliance and all these things. So I think, you know, you have to get the industry-government partnership when you’re trying to build this one, so that it’s coming from both sides. So you get the industry strength and you get the government, you know, the regulatory compliance knowledge, which takes the consumer side as well as the industry side.”

Article written by MarketScale.

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