Hitachi has developed a tiny electronic ID tag that can be embedded almost
invisibly into food packaging or the inedible part of individual fresh vegetables.

Measuring 0.4mm x 0.4mm, the RFID (radio frequency identification) chip has a minute antenna that allows devices to read the 128-bit ID number stored in its ROM (read-only memory).

Hailed as a successor to barcodes, traceability information and more besides can be stored in the tags, such identification tags are currently costly to produce. However Hitachi claims it will start to manufacturer and sell each chip tag for as little as ¥5 (US$0.05) starting in 2005.