Baby Food under Scan for Tracking and Tracing the Ingredients

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Nestlé undergoes blockchain experiment on baby food, Gerber for traceability of ingredients.

Nestlé, one of the largest food company in the world is undergoing an experiment to track baby food products on a food-tracking blockchain. The test will gauge the role of technology in identifying and tracing the origin or source of fruits and vegetables that go into purées and squeezable pouches. The aim of the experiment is in terms with the food-industry exercise that would reduce the food recalls and in the process win consumers trust.

The Nestlé blockchain experiment is set to be conducted on Nestlé’s baby food product Gerber in August 2018. The consumers will be able to track all the ingredients that goes in the product and also know from where the ingredients were supplied. “News of tainted baby food hits an especially sensitive nerve – stakes that in part prompted Nestlé to choose a popular variety of its Gerber line for its blockchain test” said Chris Tyas, global head of supply chain at Nestlé.

In this novel experiment Nestlé is working along with nine other large food giants including Walmart Inc, International Business Machines Corp, Unilever PLC and others with the aim to incorporate and build a system called Food Trust. The trust will monitor the food products and share the recorded data among the firms ensuring fast delivery and reduce chances of product recalls.

The supply chain industry is needed to be restructured (packaging, shipping, and processing) for the blockchain experiment to flow, as a result the project has still been in its nascent stage.  With the advent of blockchain technology into the supply chain process, transparency could be measured in key areas such as food recalls, ingredients, shipping, and tracking. The encrypted data obtained will be cost effective and connect with all the users systems.

Food Trust has already tested some of the food section involving a single ingredient such as Libby canned pumpkin and Walmart’s mango. However the baby food testing will come with challenges, as it involves multiple ingredients and cross border transactions. The other bottleneck in Nestlé’s supply chain according to Tyas is tackling hard and soft data in various formats and processes.

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