“Cultivating your food is like printing your money”, with this phrase from the activist Ron Finley we could define many of the applications of the blockchain that are being tested at this moment, and that in the future could become standard protocols within the food industry.
COMBAT FOOD COUNTERFEITING
When we talk about our eating habits, what we do not know with certainty can cause diseases and even death. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 1 in 10 people get sick every year from eating contaminated food, resulting in 420,000 deaths per year. The global demand for food has grown so much that it is almost impossible for food producers and retailers to guarantee the source. of your products.
As with any industry, where there is opportunity, inevitably there are always those who take advantage of any crack in the system to take advantage of fraudulent practices. The techniques of manipulation of what we eat are nothing new, in the seventeenth century scammers poured water into milk and they added chalk to the bread in order to obtain as much profit as possible at the cost of devaluing the quality of the food they produced.
IMPROVING FOOD TRACEABILITY WITH THE BLOCKCHAIN
The blockchain has the potential to become a “game changer” of food traceability and put it directly in the hands of the consumer. By using a simple QR code and a smartphone, customers can scan a package at the point of sale and receive a complete and complete history of the production cycle of any food, from the farm to the plate.
This is particularly useful in gray areas of food traceability, such as the labeling of the country of origin. This is an element of food information where it can be difficult to differentiate true false claims, for example, a product may claim to be British pork when in fact it is, for example, of French origin and subsequently processed in the United Kingdom.
The blockchain is a useful tool here since it registers each interaction with an element and assigns it a digital certificate, which means that it can not be modified or adulterated later by a company that seeks to hide the true origin and movement of the product through chain.
This represents a great opportunity for those companies that take advantage of the early adoption of blockchain-infused traceability systems. In fact, in 2022, Gartner estimates that these traceability systems built on a chain of blocks will have a value of $ 10 billion.
DIFFERENT PROJECTS, DIFFERENT ORIENTATIONS
One of the projects with more depth that we have available in the broad market that can be seen in the future is Ambrosus, a blockchain exclusively dedicated to food and pharmaceutical traceability that places great emphasis on the use of IoT technologies through a wide range of sensors that connect to the internet and notify the blockchain of the point where the food product is located at each moment of the production process, which makes it extremely reliable by largely dispensing with human intervention.
Ambrosus works in two directions, one the exhaustive information to the final client and another the precise information to the producer in order to improve and optimize the processes related to the product. This provides an immutable history and digital identity to every product that comes to our table.
This blockchain also provides a token called AMB that feeds the nodes have to perform the verifications and issues digital certificates, thus forming a complete ecosystem around everything we eat.
Also the GS1 platform provides solutions very similar to Ambrosus but more oriented to the use of the same by the states or denominations of origin. The GS1 platform thus provides a more comprehensive and comprehensive solution that includes supplementary chains for logistics and distribution very IoT oriented.
With another orientation it would be possible to locate projects like Olivacoin that try to substitute, in this case, certain characteristics of the market related to the olive oil and derivatives. Olivacoin has its origins in the Department of Financial Economics and Operations Management of the University of Seville and has been developed jointly with members of the School of Engineering of the same university.
And finally we can mention Adents NovaTrack, Blockchain solution that was developed in conjunction with Microsoft and debuted at Viva Tech 2018. The system offers end-to-end traceability and visibility throughout the entire supply chain. step by step at the unit level, means that the individual elements of the product within a case can be traced.
Adents was originally developed to trace the steps of pharmaceutical development using Al and IoT in turn. However, it has also been received by the food industry to mark its own production states.
In conclusion the Blockchain will not only help us to be more vigilant with our data or our money, also in what we eat and at the same time manage resources in a more efficient way.
Writer by birth, curious by profession … I learn a little more every day from the cryptocurrency.