A new project in Denmark will develop blockchain technology that can document a food product’s path from farm to fork and help prevent food fraud.
Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) aim to create blockchain solutions that will enable small and medium-sized food producers to create transparency around the production, safety and distribution of their goods.
According to the university, counterfeit producers often aim to capitalise on Denmark’s reputation for having a high standard of food safety by making products with inferior raw materials that are labelled as ‘made in Denmark’.
By using blockchain technology, the project will allow a selected group of members to exchange information that cannot be copied or manipulated by others without it being detected.
Henning Høgh Jensen, head of DTU’s National Food Institute, said: “Blockchain technology makes it possible to establish a platform for sharing data across the entire farm-to-fork chain in a safe and efficient manner.
“The finance industry has successfully adopted the new technology, and we believe that it’s time now for the food industry to make use of it.”
The project sees DTU researchers join forces with the Danish innovation centre in Silicon Valley and The Danish Industry Foundation.
Thomas Hofman-Bang, managing director of The Danish Industry Foundation, said: “As part of the foundation’s work on new technologies, we look at things like blockchain technology and aim at creating more Danish experiences with the technology. If using blockchain technologies increases food’s traceability and quality assurance, we could kill two birds with one stone: better documentation of a Danish position of strength and good experiences with a new technology.”
The project will specifically assist small and medium-sized Danish companies that produce upmarket products that are vulnerable to plagiarism.
Henning Høgh Jensen added: “The technologies we want to develop in the project could also be used down the line to form the basis for labelling schemes that guarantee the authenticity of food products for the benefit of consumers.”
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