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Mobile-based traceability system for sustainable food supply networks


Traceability is key to ensure food quality and safety from farm to fork, yet high implementation costs and the complexity of the food supply chain pose challenges to its operation. Here we propose a mobile-based bidirectional tracing system for food products that integrates graph data and peer-to-peer architecture. Our system allows data synchronization to happen seamlessly between all connected nodes, as data are gathered through market transactions and all related product information is concatenated by scanning 2D product barcodes. The system’s decentralized and flexible structure favours stakeholder involvement and is applicable to various and dynamic food networks. By promoting resource efficiency and transparency of origin, production and distribution, the system ensures mesh surveillance and sheds light on complex food networks, ultimately contributing to the advancement of food research.

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Fig. 1: Information from linear to mesh structure.
Fig. 2: Proposed system operation and user scenario.
Fig. 3: System operation and database content.

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Code availability

The system refers to the open source software GUN ( More information that supports this study is available from the corresponding author on request.


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We acknowledge support from the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo and C. Kuntz, C.W. Lo and M. Funabashi.

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Authors and Affiliations



K.L. and T.Y. developed the study concept and designed the system. M.P. and K.T. contributed to the system architecture. D.C. contributed to the protocol of choice in the Supplementary Information.

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Correspondence to Kaiyuan Lin.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Lin, K., Chavalarias, D., Panahi, M. et al. Mobile-based traceability system for sustainable food supply networks. Nat Food 1, 673–679 (2020).

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