Gearing up your body with hot drinks? Are we consuming pure and fine products? The complexity of the food supply chain is exploited by fraudsters as they purposely adulterate,tamper, and substitute one product with another for their economic profits. But this can be solved by advanced digital technologies. Blockchain is already disrupting many industries,it alsoplays a vital role in the food industryand in its supply chain management.Let’s deep dive to see how.
What is food adulteration?
Food adulteration is the addition of certain ingredients to modify different properties and quantities of food products for economic advantage. Colour, appearance, taste, weight, volume, and shelf life are such food properties
Common Food Adulteration Examples:
Papaya seeds can be altered as peppercorns.
Chilly Powder with Brick dust.
Turmeric powder with sawdust.
Premium Coffee beans with low-quality coffee beans, soya, and maize.
How did this happen?
In the present system, the food packages do not contain the proper details like food ingredients, packer details, package date and expiry date etc. Though it is printed on the packaging, there is no solid proof of the details and origin of raw materials. The end user or customer does not have any awareness of the product details about the product just holds the product ID and shop information but monitoring in real-time food quality and visibility of that quality would prevent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses, economically motivated adulteration, contamination, food wastage due to misconception of the labelled expiry dates, and losses due to spoilage, which have broad impacts on the food security, it is closely impossible to identify the source (node) where this tampering is happening as food fraud and tampering can happen at any point or source (node) of the supply chain.
For example during the initial stages of procuring and shipping raw materials or during the final stages of product manufacturing and packaging. It may even happen that the tampering is done by some intermediary involved in the supply chain. It’s clueless when it’s manually involved so is there any remedy?
Yes, Why not, nothing is impossible when we use technology like blockchain, which serves as a distributed ledger and information platform for all the supply chain members with trust, transparency, reliability and security. Furthermore, Blockchainimplicates the concept ofdecentralized systems.
Food safety can be traced by the Supply Chain How?
As Blockchain is decentralized, Each transaction on the ledger is immutable and is recorded only after the consensus among the members. It facilitates a shared digital view of the transaction data to all the permissioned members in the food supply network. This characteristic of immutability and transparency of Blockchainworks as an enabler to build trust among the consumers.
How Blockchain Ensures Freshness in Your Morning Coffee?
Step 1: The supply chain starts with the farmers who grow our coffee/food stores’ location, Altitude, crop soil type along with other information like date of harvesting and dispatching to the next link in the chain, etc..
Step 2: Cultivated crops are transformed into raw food products supplied by the producers into products, ready to eat or can act as a raw material for further processing by subsequent food processors in the supply chain.
Step 3: The origin of the food product or raw material is entered in the smart contracts along with the date packed, quantity, grade of the food product, and license of the concerned producer/dealer/distributor. This takes care of the authenticity of the origin of the products.
For this example, we will assume that the coffee bean that is cultivated now has to be processed, Food supply agent filters based on the quality of beans as grades start with the finest quality as grade 1 and go on with small beans. So once after this quality filtration agents or marketers have a chance of food adulteration to improvise the size /colour to increase the price of the product in markets and sell to retailers.
This can be prevented by usingblockchain technology by recording each data amount of raw material produced, quality, size, colour, product ID, shipping ID, manufacturer details, and store information using a supply chain.
Step 4: Distributors act as a link between food processing companies and wholesalers/retailers, they distribute the received food through various channels to the end customers. The receiving date of the processed food, storage conditions, inventory details, and dispatch date to the subsequent links in the chain are stored inthe blockchain.
Step 5: Retailers receive these products from distributors and sell these to the end consumers. Retailers need to record the received items, inventory details, storage details, and sales information on the ledger.
Step 6: With blockchain technology, consumers /customers will be able to see all the information that was recorded on the digital ledger throughout its journey.
Tampering of food can be easily identified with the Blockchain
When contaminated food reaches shelves of the stores, it can easily be identified and removed before getting into the hands of the customers.
Blockchain has great benefits for us consumers. It provides transparency and assurance that the food we are eating is exactly what the label says.
Using Blockchain technology we can track the records of food products easily and securely in a short span. Do you do retail business of food products? require your data to be digitalized and secure your shopping and transits, reach BSEtec a leading blockchain development company that builds secure blockchainsystemsfor your business at affordable pricing with free consultation.
Did you find this article useful? Let us know by leaving a comment below or join us on Twitter and Facebook.