Brunei: Use of RFID to track Halal food products

THE Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) will soon implement a pilot project on tracking Halal food products through the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology following the signing of an agreement yesterday.

The agreement was signed by AITI with a local IT company, John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd for the supply, development, delivery, installation, commissioning and to provide training and maintenance for Brunei-made RFID Halal Food Traceability System where the use of the technology will be piloted to the Religious Affairs ministry, an AITI press release stated yesterday.

Under this pilot project, the RFID traceability system will be developed by John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd to authenticate and track the Halal status for food products where the initial focus will be on detection of chicken and raw meat produced by the local abattoir.

The authentic Halal logo issued by the relevant authority will be validated using RFID tag embedded into the meat packages, the statement added.

A RFID reader will be placed at retail stores for consumers to authenticate the product’s status and obtain range of information including the slaughtering processes, sources of ingredients, manufacturing and expiry dates of the product. This pilot system will be carried out for six months involving users from the Halal Food Control Division of Ministry of Religious Affairs, one selected local abattoir and a retail store.

Chief Executive of AITI, Hj Yahkup Hj Menudin, in the statement was quoted as saying: “This technology is picking up in the food and packaging industry all around the world as it is being utilised to track inventory and food safety. In Brunei, food industry involving Halal status is one of the key areas that has the potential to leverage on RFID technology. This is simply because our Muslim consumers are very much concern about the authenticity of Halal food products. Hence, AITI and Ministry of Religious Affairs are very keen to collaborate in putting up RFID to better track the food status in our food market.”

The signing event took place at Seri Kerna Hall, AITI office in Anggerek Desa.

Present to witness the signing were Dato Paduka Hj Alaihuddin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Utama Hj Awang Mohd Taha, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications who is also Chairman of AITI, and Hj Abdul Aziz Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Hj Yussof, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Hj Yahkup signed on behalf of AITI, while John Harith Technology Sdn Bhd was represented by its General Manager, John Lim Wan Kee.

Over the past few years, AITI has been actively promoting the usage of RFID technology in Brunei through several initiatives including the set up of its own RFID Showcase Gallery and training of local resources and developers.

The statement added that RFID is one of the niche areas that has the potential for development of various applications in Brunei by the local ICT players. AITI hopes to rollout more pilot programs of this kind with other relevant agencies in an effort to expand the adoption of RFID and promote the Brunei-made ICT products for growth and sustainability of the local ICT industry. Fitri Shahminan

The Brunei Times