Food Authenticity Seminar Series: The Prospects of Digital Technologies for Food Identification and Authentication

Thursday, May 30, 2024 11:30to12:30

The digitalization of food systems together with the advancement of technologies facilitates the transmission of a large amount of information between industry decision-makers/stakeholders and consumers. Digital technologies can connect physical food with its related digital information for various purposes. This presentation will give an overview of the use of digital technologies, such as Quick Response (QR) codes, for food identification (traceability), authentication (anti-counterfeiting), media (marketing) and sensors (quality evaluation). Limitations and development direction for improving the technology properties are also discussed as well as the insights on the drivers and barriers of digital technology use by industry decision-makers/stakeholders in food supply chains.

The Virtual Seminar Series on Food Authenticity is organized by researchers and students at McGill and the University of Guelph.

The event is virtual and will take place over Zoom.

About the speaker

Dr Sara ErasmusDr. Sara Erasmus is currently an Assistant Professor in the Food Quality and Design group at Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. She obtained her PhD in Food Science at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in March 2017 and for the same year, worked as a postdoctoral researcher of Meat Science at the Department of Animal Sciences at Stellenbosch University. She then continued her career as postdoctoral researcher of Food Fraud at Wageningen University and Research, which ensued into the entry of the current tenure track from August 2021.

Through her research, she developed a profound interest in the authentication and integrity of food. She believes that foods produced in a traditional, sustainable manner carry a priceless story and tradition that should be appreciated and protected from fraud and mislabelling. She specializes in the use of analytical techniques for food authentication. Her PhD focused on the authentication of a regionally unique South African lamb product, but nowadays she is involved with studies on various other food commodities (i.e., spices, seafood, oils, wine, etc.) and applications. She maintains her special interest in meat science, combining this with a research theme on meat quality and supply chain integrity. She has published and presented her research findings at international conferences and to the public – contributing towards bridging the gap of knowledge between the industry, the consumer and science.

She is involved with the H2020 mEATquality project (as work package leader) with the overall aim to provide consumers with quality meat by developing scientific knowledge and novel solutions with farmers and chain partners to address societal demands, environmental concerns and economic needs. In this project, her team is exploring the effect of "extensification" factors on broiler meat quality, as well as developing proteomic techniques for the authentication of the meat. She coordinates and teaches the Meat Science course and Food Fraud and Mitigation course and supervise various students at Wageningen University. She is also the co-contact person for the Netherlands for the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology.

Back to top