Nutrition is extremely important for the health of individual people and entire nations. Lack of safety and trustable information on food products jeopardized the health status of citizens of various countries for a long time. While food fraud is not a new problem we faced, now the sight of volumes and consequences of food fraud make us to find new technical ways to defeat it.
In Big Chains, There's Room for Fraud
Complex supply chains are difficult to track regularly. Today, even the most basic products are supplied by several different companies, and the lack of information and connectivity between companies gives huge opportunities and rewards for fraudsters.
of International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) members included 166 WHO member states and showed that 97% of respondents demonstrated a desire to learn more about ways to fight food fraud and to deal with food safety events. This suggests that technical support is now urgently needed to improve food safety.
Without Trust, We Have Nothing
Food products are constantly checked. Every food production is required to undergo certification. Products must meet ever-growing requirements based on the recommendations of the Global Food Safety Initiative regarding vulnerability or risk assessments that companies in the supply chain must undertake. But despite all efforts, food safety is still a serious challenge.
Food fraud undermines consumer confidence and threatens the reputation of enterprises. Existing measures do not provide protection from many options for food fraud, for example, the possibility of collusion between suppliers in the supply chain, forgery and the ability to submit false documents.
When it comes to meat, its substitution can offend religious sensibilities, and like other counterfeited products put public health at risk.
For example, about 30%
of seafood products across the world may be mislabelled, according to a recent review
. This means that unsuspecting consumers can get catfish as more expensive wild-caught cod
or even illegally caught endangered species.
Compliance with labeling, regular checks and analyses cost food manufacturers dearly, but all these efforts do not save them from food scandals.
Data Management Is a Way Out
To be sure of the quality of the product, you need to know each supplier in the chain well, which is almost impossible.
To eliminate the possibility of forging documents and know exactly what is happening with the product within supply chain, food suppliers need to introduce data management systems into the existing supply chains.
Unified information registries are already being developed and introduced, bringing together the work of different suppliers and auditing organizations. To ensure that the system is resistant to unauthorized changes, DLT - Distributed Ledger Technology - is used as the basis.
Logistics, which is tracked in real time, is a much safer way to transport products.
How to Control Data
Food producers seek to address transparency in food supply chain that will enable food stakeholders to offer safe, secure and hygienic food. FCE Blockchain developed software
to digitize logistics and connect different pieces of product information and documents in one sustainable database. This digitization allows to analyze logistics, identify suitable approaches to detect bottlenecks in the food supply and avoid food fraud.
The composition, expire dates, origins and features of the product are entered into the database and cannot be tampered with, and special labeling gives access to this information through the QR code.
When information about a product and its movement is open, it enhances trust among multiagency stakeholders, and increases the trust of the end consumer who receives safe and healthy food.