Quality Guard: High-Performing Application for Food Security
Food safety first! It could be the tagline of Quality Guard, a company that provides an application for the maintenance of food security. As government authorities are constantly defining new food labeling requirements, they were in need for a flexible and easy adaptable tool, supplying up-to-date information on food safety regulations. Again another proof that the development of software solutions is not a one-off event, but an ongoing process. Discover the full story!
Scope of the Quality Guard Assignment
In short, Quality Guard (Qguard) aimed to provide an application for the maintenance of food safety, allergens and nutritional values. As FOD Volksgezondheid and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are constantly assessing risks throughout the food chain, a database consisting of up-to-date and validated information on retail products and recipes was necessary.
One plus one equals three, something that fully applies to this story. For this assignment we teamed up with Aaltra, a Digital Innovation Studio that designs and develops digital products and services. Aaltra was in charge of the front-end, while we rolled out the full back office.
The back office of Qguard’s app, can be considered as an enormous database, storing both retail products and recipes, and their accompanied food safety data. The latter is validated by a team of dieticians, in accordance to the rules as determined by the government. The communication between our back office and Aaltra’s front office is established by an API we developed. On top, many users of the Qguard application wants to use this information on their own website/webshop, for their label maker or meal planner, which requires the deployment of an extra amount of APIs.
From Analysis to Solid Application
The question is, of course, how do you begin something like this? Everything starts with an in-depth analysis. From this analysis a diagram is distilled, mapping all the correlations between the different entities. In the end, a recipe is composed of several retail products and recipes, and these are in turn composed of ingredients, other products and/or recipes. It is these relationships that must be fully modelled. Each product and recipe is labeled with the necessary and validated food safety information.
Subsequently, an iterative process starts. If there is a change due to legislation, this must be adjusted in the back office. In this way, the project is never at a standstill and requires constant updates.
An Ongoing Development Process
It might be clear this application is constantly subject to change. Let’s take a closer look at the most frequent and remarkable changes.
Legal changes | As mentioned before, the government is constantly assessing risks throughout the food chain, and determines frequently new food safety rules. It’s therefore important to continuously update the application with the latest information. Only in this way, a reliable and up-to-date tool can be guaranteed.
Unforeseen circumstances | Unforeseen circumstances require a quick and adequate solution. Take for instance the impact of COVID-19. From now on, physical menus are no longer consumed in bars and restaurants, but QR codes are used instead. The development process responds to this, and the necessary adjustments are made to the application.
New features | Last but not least, Qguard wants to provide an application that is not outdated. This implies the implementation of new features on a regular basis. Something that both the back office and front office need to constantly address.
All of the above proves once again that software development is a continuous process and not a one-off event. And that’s one of our key objectives: creating valuable and robust long-term relationships with our customers.
Convinced of our way of working? Interested to collaborate? Don’t hesitate to get in touch and let’s have a talk!
Truth can only be found in one place: the code.
Let's go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.
Debreuck Neirynck developed a new application for us for efficient and consistent pricing and planning. But more important is the smooth way in which they implied this. They delivered a very clear delivery plan and all our employees were well prepared for the new things to come. Absolutely a good piece of change management.