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Modern Food Chain with Advanced Technology

By Food and Beverages | Monday, January 07, 2019

Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or any event, the utmost importance is given to the food. Foods purchased online, or from grocery shops have their own story from where there came, and journey to the dining table. This journey will have a huge impact on human safety. An example of the impact is the recent E. Coli Outbreak where tons of prepackaged romaine lettuce were distributed nationwide which led to causing health issues in many. Before the source was traced, the outbreak has sparked 36 states with 200 diseased cases along with the lives of five people, according to Centers for Disease Control AND Prevention. Moreover, the conventional process of identifying food roadmap through workforce is found to be more time consuming and error-prone.

The advent of blockchain technology with its revolutionary shared ledger technology helps in solving complex problems, and storage of digital transaction records within the distributed framework. Its distributive, transparent, and flexible properties help businesses to benefit by saving time and cost, all with high-end security. Mark Parzygnat, program director at IBM blockchain, has predicted that the E. coli outbreak could have been easily identified more quickly with blockchain and may have saved a lot of lives. Integrating blockchain technology with food chain companies can easily track and trace the origin of food products at a faster rate. Furthermore, for customers, blockchain is a platform to capture data about product history.

Many startups are now attracted towards the deployment of blockchain technology in their potential food applications. ripe.io, a San Francisco-based food distribution company, recently raised $2.4 million to deploy blockchain technology in their food supply chain, and to enable data transparency. Moreover, the company wants to be digitally connected with growers, retailers, and labs in the industry.

Environmental factors such as humidity and temperature variation also have an impact on food quality. Implementing sensors in the storage areas and transportation capture dynamic food condition data and forward it to a blockchain monitoring system for data analysis to maintain the standard environment condition suitable for the food chain. With sensors constantly updating the environmental condition data to the blockchain, growers and retailers can effectively determine the time and place, where conditions change along with information regarding spoilage issues. 

The blockchain technology also assists truck drivers with new payment models. Drivers often expect payment upon delivery, but sometimes fail to collect due to unavailability. This limitation can be minimized through the blockchain transaction process. Although blockchain technology is well known for its bitcoin transaction, its advantages have created indefinite opportunities for future applications to enhance overall business efficiency.

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