Research is underway looking at technologies available to verify the contents of a box of meat with the label on the outside.
Using technology to do this takes out the potential for human error and ensures accuracy, according to the processing sector's research and development body the Australian Meat Processor Corporation.
Traceability of meat through a processing plant is extremely important for export purposes and AMPC's research program for label verification is helping processors find more efficient ways of matching box contents with box labels through technology.
The program includes a project looking at the use of Radio Frequency Identification, also known as RFID, tags and embedding the tags on a box of meat with a similar tag on the cuts of meat inside the box.
Another project works with artificial intelligence to take photos of cuts of meat within a box and then ensures it matches up with the wording on the label outside the box. A trial was conducted last year which identified six cuts of meat in one processing plant and matched them correctly to their box labels.
A new trial is about to begin that will match 20 cuts of meat with their box labels at two processing plants.
AMPC program manager Ann McDonald said the trial would compare several pieces of technology that were already commercially available and could be adapted for the work.
It will include looking at the cost of each and the preferred solution will be used for the new trial.
The trial will also take a step back along the packing process and will look at using the camera and AI technology to assist workers to identify the correct cuts to go into the box.
Once this project has been completed, further work could include the automatic generation of labels once the camera/AI has verified the cut of meat in the box.
"This is a great initiative to address label verification which can have a significant impact on market access," Ms McDonald said.
"AMPC has two quite different options for processing plants to choose from and what fits best with their operation. Both solutions have the potential for commercialisation in the future."
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