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International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET)

Volume 9, Issue 12, December 2018,
201 pp. 9–19, Article ID: IJMET_09_12_002
Available online at
ISSN Print: 0976-6340 and ISSN Online: 0976-6359

© IAEME Publication Scopus Indexed


Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Pravin P. Patil
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Graphic Era (Deemed to be) University Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Sachin Kumar Mangla

Plymouth Business School (PBS), University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

Due to food contamination
tamination consumers do not trust in the food products. Food
safety and security is a major problem in most of the countries especially, India.
Standards and regulations in India regarding food safety and security is not good as
developed countries. To attain
attain safety and security in food, many hurdles are there,
risks being one of them. Risks are defined as the probability of having hazard in it and
how much loss it can cause. Risks were identified by literature survey and expert’s
opinion and seven risks were
were selected for the study such as communication risk,
storage risk, government policy failure, transportation risk, financial risk, operational
risk and health risk. The objective of this study is to analyze the risks in food safety
and security to minimize the loss of food. Grey relational analysis is an effective
evaluation method which is accepted world wide as multi criterion decision making
issues (MCDM) especially used when there is an ambiguity in the decisions. It is
based on geometrical mathematics which consist
consist laws of entirety, normality, proximity
and symmetry. The projected approach can incorporate the knowledge and experience
of the experts for collecting their responses which was based on the scale given by
experts. After evaluating all the risks in food
food safety and security, process risk attains
the first rank having grey relational grade of 0.8000 while economic risk holds the last
position with grey relational grade of 0.300.
00. This study helps the higher authorities to
take proper decision to minimize the
t loss of food.
Keywords: Food Safety, Food Security, Multi Criterion Decision Making, Grey
Relational Analysis, Risks.
IJMET/index.asp 9
Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Pravin P. Patil and Sachin Kumar Mangla

Cite this Article: Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Pravin P. Patil and Sachin Kumar Mangla,
Analyzing Risks In Safety and Security of Food Using Grey Relational Analysis,
International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, 9(12), 2018, pp. 9–

In the last few years, cases reading food safety and security are increased by a rapid pace.
Problems of food safety and security brought a vast impact on our lifestyle and which is
showing the failure of security agencies (Bhat and Vasanthi, 2003; Schmidhuber, 2007).For
raising the economy of the country, efforts are to be made on improving the food safety and
security by means of risk reduction, financial profits for the domestic industry and positive
effect for food safety in the domestic food system (Boholm, et al., 2016; King, et al., 2017).
Risks in food directly affect the amount of food wastage or money loss for the country. In our
country 30 % of the total population starve due to hunger and 10% of the population die every
year. It is the necessity of the current situation to provide accurate and precise information
regarding food safety and security to the consumer and to regain their trust on food products.
As the country’s food supply becomes worldwide and composite, decisions about policies
expected at preventing contamination and sickness have turn out to be even more important to
the public’s health. In general food safety ranks as one of the highest priorities in most
developed and developing countries, but in the rest of the less privileged world more
fundamental needs of achieving the international water sanitation targets and food security
emphasis is made on(Zaccheo, et al., 2017). When dealing with food fraud, most consumers
are concerned with economically motivated adulteration (EMA), which is one of the
important factors that affect and undermine food safety, and food security, and may cause
disturbance of society stability (Zhong and Zheng, 2017; Arita, et al., 2017; Sharma, et al.,
2018). Food safety and security includes the control on food borne illness risk and it is
consistent access to an enough amount of food that is safe, healthy, and wholesome. Food
safety and security is the safeguarding of the own food from national food supply chain and
dangerous microbial and chemical agents(Uyttendaele, et al., 2016, Sharma, et al.,
(2018).Risks play an important role in food safety and security; and there are several types of
risks i.e. operational, health, communication, transportation, financial, storage and
government policies failure. The remaining of the article is as follows: Section 2, explains the
literature regarding food safety and security; Section 3, describes the research method applied
for the solution of the current problem, Section 4, comprises of grey relational grade, results
and management implications; Section 5, explains conclusion, limitations and future scope.

Safety and security in food is a big issue in Indian context because of the increasing cases of
contamination. Risks related to food safety and security is mentioned in the next section.

2.1. Risks in food safety and security

Risk in food is a factor that influence the lifestyle of human beings as well their health. Risk
is a situation where the probability of danger is uncertain (Mangla, et. al., 2016, Mangla, et.
al., 2016, Mangla, et. al., 2016).Activities associated with food production and handling
involve risks. Determination of risk is estimated by the percentage of loss occurred. By
minimizing the food risks, food safety and security gets controlled automatically (Mangla, et.
al., 2016,Sharma, et al., 2018). Risks related to food safety and security is mentioned in the
Table 1. 10
Analyzing Risks In Safety and Security of Food Using Grey Relational Analysis

Table1 Risks in food safety and security

Risks in Safety and
S.No. Description Authors
security of Food
Communication risk Improper communication between supplier Piramuthu and Zhou,
1 (CR) and receiver is a risk for food safety and (2016); Zhong and
security. Zheng, (2017).
Scarcity of skilled labours and improper Bizikova, et al., (2013);
infrastructure for storage. Verger and Boobis,
2 Storage risk (SR)
(2013); Akhtar, (2015);
Petersen, et al., (2017).
Failure of purchasing goods from farmers and Demeritt, et al., (2015);
Government policy
3 the policy they make for them are also a risk Zhou, (2017); Petersen,
failure (GP)
in food safety and security et al., (2017);
Availability of trucks, cold chain and skilled Schmidhuber and
drivers is a risk for transportation and it Tubiello, (2007); Speier,
Transportation risk
4 affects the food safety and security et al., (2011); Lu, et al.,
(2015); Zupaniec, et el.,
Fluctuation in the currency rates and lack of Yang and Li, (2010);
5 Economic risk (ER) funding from the sources is a risk for food Cheng, et al., (2016);
safety and security King, et al., (2017).
Improper design, warning devices and Marvin, et al., (2013);
6 Process risk (PR) improper training of employees affects the Spink, et al., (2017);
food safety and security Geng, et al., (2017).
Uses of fertilizers and misuse of food Patrick, et al., (2004);
additives creates risks for food safety and Trienekens and Zuurbier,
security (2008); Alavanja, (2009);
7 Health risk (HR) Alavanja and Bonner,
(2012); Carvalho, (2017);
Spanoghe, (2017); Jiao,
et al., (2017).

The importance of risks in food safety and security is evaluated with the help of GRA (Grey
Relational Analysis) approach and it also deals with MCDM issues. It is mostly applied when
there is an ambiguity in decision making. The solution methodology used in the present study
for evaluation of the risks in food safety and security is explained in figure 1.

3.1. Grey relational analysis (GRA)

GRA(Grey relational analysis) is an efficient assessment approach which is globally used in
MCDM problems particularly where there is uncertainty in the decision making (Deng, 1982,
1989;Wen, 2016). It achieves assessment by computing the association of individual factor to
a perfect solution (Hashemi, et al, 2015; Song, et al., 2014; Jiang, et al., 2017). In general,
GRA has five steps and they are as follows:
Step one: Collect the initial assessment values from experts and make decision matrix. A
decision matrix is constructed as: 11
Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Pravin P. Patil and Sachin Kumar Mangla

 x 12 x 12
L x  1n
 
D =  x 21 x 22 x
2n 
 M M O M 
 
 x m 1 x m2
K x mn  1

Literature Review

Data collection

Generate a decision matrix

Calculate reference sequence and deviation sequence

Determining the grey relational coefficient

Determining the grey relational grade

Ranking the risks by grey relational grade

Fig.1 Research flowchart

where (1 ≤i< m, 1 ≤ j ≤ n) indicates the calculated value oftheithdata sequence with
regard to criterion j.
Step two: Normalization and reference sequence: Perform data normalization for all the
decision matrices individually.“Smaller - thebetter”is the cost criterion.

max (x ) − x i ij ij
r ij
max (x ) − min (x
i ij i ij
) 2
Step three: After performing second step, all the criteria have been converted to the category
of the “smaller-the-better.” Thenthe normalized matrix is formulated as
 r 11 r 12
K r 
 
R =  r 21 r 22 r 2n 
 M M O M 
 
 r m 1 r K r mn 
In addition, the reference sequence is explained as
∆ = − 4 12
Analyzing Risks In Safety and Security of Food Using Grey Relational Analysis

Then the difference matrix is formulated as

 ∆ 11 ∆ 12
K ∆ 
 
=  ∆ 21 ∆ ∆
K 2n 
∆  M M O M 
 
 ∆ m 1 ∆ m2
K ∆ mn  5
Step four: Determining the grey relational coefficient:

∆ min + ξ × ∆ max
γ = ij ij

∆ + ξ × ∆ max
ij ij
Where, j ξ (0 ≤ ξ ≤ 1 ) is the distinguishing coefficienti.e., used to maintain the grey
relational coefficient range; usually j ξ = 0 .5 (RajeshandRavi, 2015).
Step five: Calculate grey relational degree and rank the factors accordingly.

∑ [w ]

Γ i
= j
× γ ij
, 7

j =1

where, w j is the weight of the jth criterion. Correlation between reference sequence and
compared sequence is represented by grey relational degree. Based on grey relational degree,
the priority ranking can be estimated. The one with the highest grade of relation is known as
the best solution.


In the present study data was collected with the help of expert’s views i.e. related to rating
scale according to their impact for risks in food safety and security. Seven risks
(CR,SR,GP,TR,ER,PR,HR) were identified from the literature and experts view, already
mentioned in Table 1. Based on the scale mentioned in Table2, data is determined from
expert’s views. After the brain storming session with expert’s and academicians we made the

Table 2: Scale is based on the expert’s view /opinion

S.No. Criteria Values
1 No influence 0
2 Extremely Low influence 1
3 Very low influence 2
4 Low influence 3
5 Medium influence 4
6 High influence 5
7 Very high influence 6
8 Extremely high influence 7 13
Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Pravin P. Patil and Sachin Kumar Mangla

Table 3 Determination of data of risks in food safety and security

Risks in food safety and
S.No. Expert 1 Expert 2 Expert 3
1 Communication Risk (CR) 6 5 4
2 Storage Risk (SR) 5 4 6
3 Government policy failure (GP) 4 5 6
4 Transportation Risk (TR) 4 6 5
5 Economic Risk (ER) 7 6 7
6 Process Risk (PR) 3 5 2
7 Health Risk (HR) 4 3 5
First collecting the values from expert’s and constructs the decision matrix by using
equation (1)
 6 5 4 
 5 4 6 

 4 5 6 
 
D =  4 6 5 
 7 6 7 
 
 3 5 2 
 4 3 5 

After formulation of normalization decision matrix and reference is done for the cost
criteria by using equation (2) mentioned in (Table 4).

Table 4: Normalization and reference sequence for risks in food safety and security

Risks reference Expert 1 Expert 2 Expert 3

sequence 1.00 1.00 1.00
CR 0.25 0.33 0.60
SR 0.50 0.66 0.20
GP 0.75 0.33 0.20
TR 0.75 0.00 0.40
ER 0.00 0.00 0.00
PR 1.00 0.33 1.00
HR 0.75 1.00 0.40
 0 . 25 0 . 33 0 . 60 
 0 . 50 0 . 66 0 . 20 

 0 . 75 0 . 33 0 . 20 
 
R =  0 . 75 0 . 00 0 . 40 
 0 . 00 0 . 00 0 . 00 
 
 1 . 00 0 . 33 1 . 00 
 0 . 75 1 . 00 0 . 40 

Next ∆ ij
is the deviation sequence of the reference sequence is calculated with the help
of equation (4) and it is mentioned in (Table 5).
Investigating the data presented in Table (4) ∆ max (ij )
and ∆ min (ij )
is obtained and is as
follow: 14
Analyzing Risks In Safety and Security of Food Using Grey Relational Analysis

∆ max
= ∆06 (1) = ∆07 (2) = ∆06 (3) = 1.00

∆ min
= ∆05(1) = ∆04 (2) = ∆05(3) = 0.00

Table 5: Deviation sequence

Deviation sequence
∆ ij
(1) ∆ ij
(2) ∆ ij
CR 0.75 0.67 0.40
SR 0.50 0.34 0.80
GP 0.25 0.67 0.80
TR 0.25 1.00 0.60
ER 1.00 1.00 1.00
PR 0.00 0.67 0.00
HR 0.25 0.00 0.60
Next, by using the equation (6) and (7),the grey relational coefficient and the grey
relational grade is calculated i.e. stated in Table 6.

Table 6: Calculate Grey relational coefficient and grey relational grade

Deviation sequence ∆ ij ∆ ij ∆ ij
γ =
(ξ 1 + ξ 2 + ξ 3 ) Rank
(1) (2) (3)
ij 3
CR 0.40 0.42 0.55 0.456 6
SR 0.50 0.59 0.38 0.490 3
GP 0.66 0.42 0.38 0.486 4
TR 0.66 0.33 0.45 0.480 5
ER 0.33 0.33 0.33 0.330 7
PR 1.00 0.42 1.00 0.800 1
HR 0.66 1.00 0.45 0.700 2
Risks in food safety and security also increase the stress for the higherauthorities. The
present study explains the grey relational grade and their rank accordingly; Process Risk (PR)
achieves the maximum grey relational grade (GRG) in the list having value of (0.800) and it
affects the food safety and security very much. Managers need to give more attention on (PR)
for reducing the risk in food safety and security. One should provide proper information,
training of the employees and warned about the devices which are used. The devices should
be manufactured safely and design for minimum risks during the manufacturing of any
product (Stadlmüller, et al., 2017).It is clearly mentioned in the previous studies that process
risk attains more importance from the decision makers (Mital, et al., 2017;Stadlmüller, et al.,
2017).Process Risk requires more attention from the decision maker side to overcome the
risks in food safety and security; Health Risk (HR) attains the 2ndplace in the (GRG) list
having value of (0.700). Health Risk is one of the important risk in aspect of food safety and
security, because health is directly affected by food contamination, misuse of food additives,
more uses of fertilizers in the farming and microbiological hazards. Decision makers
encourage their employees regarding safety in food processing and encourage farmers to use
organic manure in place of fertilizer to reduce the risk of health. According to (World Health
Organization, 2017)the human health risks related with antimicrobial use in food; Storage
Risk (SR) comes at the 3rdplace in the (GRG) list having value of (0.490) and is mostly affects
the food safety security of food. Improper infrastructure, storage places and unskilled labours 15
Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Pravin P. Patil and Sachin Kumar Mangla

increases the level of risk in food safety and security. In the newspaper food safety and
security related news is there and which is mainly because of improper infrastructure of stored
food. Managers work on it to reduce the impact of it on food safety and security (Söderqvist,
2017). Government policy failure (GP) comes at the 4thplace in the (GRG) list having value of
(0.486). Government policy failure directly affects the firms as well as food producer to
maintain the quality of food. It plays an important role to minimize the risk of food safety and
security (Kaptan, et al., 2017).Decision makers keep in mind the negatives aspects of policy
before making them and the failure of it increases the risk in food safety and security.
Transportation Risks (TR) comes at the 5th position in the (GRG) list having value of (0.480).
It also increases the risk in food safety and security by means of unskilled truck drivers, not
implementing cold chain and improper sanitation during the transportation of food from one
place to another place. Now days transportation is a big risk for food as well environment and
it requires more attention from decision maker’s side (Hu, et al., 2017).Communication Risk
(CR) holds the2nd last position in the (GRG) list having value of (0.456). CR is important
during the collection and delivering of food from industry to the market and local areas. When
there is a miscommunication between the supplier and receiver, it causes risk in food safety
and security (Overbey, et al., 2017).Decision makers may clear the misconceptions between
the sellers and the producer of food to reduce the risk of safety and security. Economic Risk
(ER) having value of (0.300) comes at the last in (GRG) list. Economic risk comes when there
is a fluctuation or inflation in the currency rates (Fan, et. al., 2017).It attains less value in the
list and the impact of it is lesser than other risks on food safety and security.

The final aim of this research is to analyze the risks in food safety and security to minimize
the food loss by using GRA (grey relational analysis) MCDM approach. Risks in food safety
and security directly affect the population of the country. Seven risks (CR,SR,GP,TR,ER, PR,
HR) related to food safety and securities were analyzed and process risk (PR) comes at the
first place and economic risk (ER) holds the last position. In the current study the results
clearly show their effect on the safety and security of food. In the present days the news of
food adulteration, food contamination is common throughout the globe and it affects the
personal health as well as country’s health. Risks in food safety and security also increase the
burden of policy makers and government. GRA approach is mostly used for MCDM problems
where there is uncertainty in decision; decision makers are not able to decide the best result.
GRA approach is used in many fields like manufacturing, automobile, medical and
management.GRA approach has its own limitations. In the future we pay more stress to
overcome the limitations of GRA by integrating the GRA with AHP (Analytic Hierarchy
Process) approach, VIKOR (VIseKriterijumskaOptimizacija I KompromisnoResenje),
DEMATEL (Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory Model) and Fuzzy theory. By
using fuzzy theory with GRA approach uncertainty may be reduced and the results should be
more precise.

The authors acknowledge and express the gratitude for the support of the research facilities
and funds provided by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graphic Era (Deemed to
be) University, Dehradun, India. 16
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