blockchain (11)

7607620852?profile=RESIZE_710xMichel Neilsen, professor of analytical chemistry at Wageningen University & Research, was recently interviewed about an EU-funded project to develop smartphone-based food screening capabilities.

The FoodSmartphone project aims to develop smartphone-based (bio)analytical sensing and diagnostics tools for simplified on-site rapid pre-screening of food. The three-year project is scheduled to wrap up in December.

Nielsen explains that the project works to develop a device that can be attached or connected to a shopper's smartphone to test for allergens, pesticides, and whether the product is organic. The team hopes to empower shoppers to test food at the shelf.

The interview was recently published by Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation magazine from the European Commission, and can be read here.

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Modern supply chains have evolved into highly complex value networks and turned into a vital source of competitive advantage. However, it has become increasingly challenging to verify the source of raw materials and maintain visibility of products and merchandise while they are moving through the value chain network.
 
The application of the Internet of Things (IoT) can help companies to observe, track, and monitor products, activities, and processes within their respective value chain networks. Other applications of IoT include product monitoring to optimize operations in warehousing‚ manufacturing, and transportation. In combination with IoT, Blockchain technology can enable a broad range of different application scenarios to enhance value chain transparency and to increase B2B trust. When combined, IoT and Blockchain technology have the potential to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of modern supply chains.
 
The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, we illustrate how the deployment of Blockchain technology in combination with IoT infrastructure can streamline and benefit modern supply chains and enhance value chain networks. Second, we derive six research propositions outlining how Blockchain technology can impact key features of the IoT (i.e., scalability, security, immutability and auditing, information flows, traceability and interoperability, quality) and thus lay the foundation for future research projects.
 

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5161152860?profile=RESIZE_400xThis FAO publication provides a comprehensive introduction to blockchain, covers smart contracts, and explores how they relate to blockchain with an example of their use in seafood value chains. It examines major development and operational considerations for blockchain applications. It also analyses the seafood supply chain with considerations on flag, coastal, port, processing and market countries. The study identifies general control elements (critical tracking events and corresponding key data elements) that form the basis for traceability monitoring and acquisition, and summarises th suitability of blockchain application. It also investigates considerations for legality, transparency, species fraud and food safety. 

Read either the news article or the full FAO Study.

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4167366632?profile=RESIZE_710xA pilot programme is applying blockchain to Australia's Victoria’s citrus production, which exported 104,000 tonnes during the 2018/19 season, worth A$162m. The long-term goal is to apply the technology to all Australian citrus exports. The pilot programme is funded by Agriculture Victoria, and will aim to improve a number of key factors, including determining the fruit’s origin, protection against counterfeiting, location of origin, secure market access and rapid food recalls.  Read the article here 

For a more general discussion about how blockchain can assist in ensuring the authenticity of foods read this article.

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3934965831?profile=RESIZE_710xIn response to many recent problems of adulteration and safety concerns in the infant food sector, Danone is applying blockchain, serialisation and aggregation technology to its infant formula brands, where all information will be incorporated into two QR codes on its branded products. An outer QR code can be scanned at any time throughout the supply chain to provide batch and unit numbers and other logistical information to enable the product to be traced back to all production information. An inner QR code is placed behind a tamper-proof seal, and can only be scanned once after purchase by the consumer. to provide after sales support and services. Danone will be launching its 'Track & Connect' service first in China, followed by Germany, Australia and New Zealand later this year.

Read the article here

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Using blockchain in the food chain has the potential to improve traceability of the supply chain, enabling users to view the relevant data digitally, remove duplication in reporting and paperwork, and use smart contracts to ensure the process is automated where feasible. Then, all of this drives speed of moving data through the system, so recalls could be managed in minutes rather than weeks, and suppliers can be paid immediately. In this article New Food’s Editor, Bethan Grylls discusses with Julie Pierce, Director of Openness, Data & Digital at the FSA how this technology has been used so far and whether it is trustworthy. 

Read the article here3723777491?profile=RESIZE_710x

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In an effort to boost consumption of tea and consumer confidence, the Indian Tea Board has been considering using blockchain technology to ensure traceability along the supply chain from tea plantation to auction and retail sale. It is hoped that this will prevent adulteration and reduce lower quality tea being sold, which has had an impact on consumer confidence and consumption. Examples of this are the use of added dyes to hide poor quality and increase the 'glossiness' of tea, and the large scale sale of cheaper Nepalese tea sold as the more expensive Indian Darjeeling tea. Blockchain would permit consumers to access information as to the origin of the tea in terms of region or garden, and know that the integrity of the tea has been preserved.

3701988071?profile=RESIZE_710x Read the article here

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Ecuadorian prawn producers, who are members of the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership (SSP), have teamed up with the Food Trust ecosystem, which will provide a blockchain database to safeguard traceability and integrity from farm to fork so that consumers can have complete trust and assurance on what they are buying. SSP’s members, which comprise of responsible prawn producers based in Ecuador, will enter data about how the prawn is produced onto the blockchain system. Ultimately, retailers around the world will be able to see this data and trace it at every stage so that they can ensure the quality of the prawn they are selling to consumers. SSP plans to enable consumer access via an app, enabling individuals to view provenance data about the prawns they buy.

  Read the article here

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NSF International, working with a retailer, are launching a blockchain traceability service for the beef supply chain. The service will link details of individual cattle on farms all the way through to consumer purchases. Each animal will be given a unique identifier built into a RFID ear tag, along with a sample of DNA and its GPS farm location. As the animal matures, details of its weight and age are entered into the blockchain database, with all the other details as it is processed along the supply chain. This will allow all the supply chain partners to access the blockchain database to improve transparency and traceability. Information about an animal's provenance and quality will even be available to consumers via a mobile phone app and QR code on the pack of beef.   

  Read the article here

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Blockchain technology has the potential to transform the food industry and provide a new way of dealing with food safety and food fraud. This article by Sterling Crew is taken from his article in March edition of Food Science and Technology (free on line for IFST members). It examines its application to enhance transparency, tracking and traceability in the food supply chain, and considers how it could help to build consumer confidence and  give a more secure food supply system.

Read the article here

 

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