Since long traceability devices on livestock are used which includes branding of livestock, earmarks, tattoos, paint marks and neck chains, plastic and metallic tags, tail tags, freeze brands and others. In recent times, commercial traceability system constitutes either a paper-based or electronic based system as set up options with choice affected by costs and resources available (RIRDC 2008). The basic difficulty with paper-based systems is that this system does not generally support a quick response to an investigation. Besides, even when well organized, paper-based traceability systems may produce a perception among investigators that the system is outdated and risky. Perceptions are almost as important as reality in the traceability industry. Paper-based records are also actually more vulnerable to interfering and vanishing. The electronic-based system mostly includes the use of Barcodes and Radio-frequency identification devices (RFID). Bar-coding technology is used widely in the food industry, on packaged goods especially.
A barcode is a machine-readable code of numeric or alphanumeric form, presented in a visual format and applied to a surface. Barcode systems are useful, easy and rapid to read. These systems are inexpensive, but their use should be fundamentally standardized to safeguard a correct reading at every point in the chain (Barcos 2001). A number or alphanumeric character string encoded within a bar code symbol is used as means of identifying an item and/or associated information held in a database or other storage facility. Linear barcodes may also carry meta-data identifiers and a limited amount of standalone information, such as expiry date or weight (Füzesi et al. 2009). In accordance, RIRDC (2008), the bar code is typically read by an optical scanner (laser or camera) or barcode reader and analyzed by computer software.
With growing use for more and more information to be fixed to the code, a range of different options has been developed including: a) Single dimension bar-codes, which classically include the individual identification number and other data such as price and use-by-dates; b) Two-dimensional barcodes, which take the form of a matrix of cells, instead of bars. This allows more data to be stored. Stacked bar codes, a mixture of matrix and singles, take the form of multiple rows of single dimension barcodes. The technology of a linear barcode is created around the use of binary numbers (1, 0), with the lines and spaces of varying thickness and combinations. The Universal Product Code (UPC) is one of a large number of bar-code languages, which provide a map between messages and barcodes. A range of two-dimensional, multi-row bar and matrix data carriers is now commercially available in the market, introducing features that are complementary to linear barcodes. It is having a significance of the capability to carry extensively more data than linear bar code symbols or the same data in smaller space.
This ability is encouraged in as the ‘portable data file’ concept, in which data carried as stand-alone machine-readable files. Carrying data in this way constitutes a radical vehicle for process improvement, where opportunities are recognized. They also provide a platform for alternative solutions to data carrier problems that would be difficult or impracticable to satisfy using linear barcodes. Two-dimensional data carriers have a feature of low-cost data carrier format. (Füzesi et al. 2009)