How IoT and Blockchain have sneaked into your shopping trolley.


Do you recall the 2013 scandal in Europe in which food advertised to contain beef, was found to contain undeclared horse meat? Fish and seafood have also been under suspicion. In fact, fish is one of the most commonly faked products. The issue lies in the traceability of the food supply chain.

The price of tuna, an expensive fish, depends on fishing and storing conditions in the supply chain. Premium tuna must be stored at a minimum of -19 degrees Celsius. Medium quality tuna must be stored at temperatures of at least -8 degrees Celsius. You can already see where the supply chain opens itself up to fraud; wholesalers, retailers and end users are at risk of paying premium prices for medium (or low) quality products.

How can we ensure we are paying the right price?

The answer to that question lies in IoT.

Technology offers absolute traceability of a product during the various stages in the supply chain. It ensures strict control of the cold chain during storage and transportation – issuing a certificate of cold chain conditions.

The temperature of each fish is measured from the moment it is captured and stored in the ship’s hold, recording all data, including time and location of capture. Any event that interrupts the cold chain, throughout the supply chain, will be automatically detected and reflected in the data. At any time, anyone involved in the in the tuna’s life cycle, can access all the information about its status.

This identification system is key in certifying the origins of the product and conditions during transportation. Its foundation lies in permission-based blockchain technology (distributed ledger technology or DLT) and ensures:

  • Transparency: DLT is accessible to all stakeholders, in accordance with the operational and business needs of each node.
  • Maximum levels of security and cryptography.
  • Immutability of recorded history of transactions.
  • Ability to be configured and tailored to business logical.
  • Transaction certification in line with regulations. 

Next time when you pick up your fresh produce from the supermarket, we hope you feel more confident in the knowledge that technology is closing in on fraud within the supply chain.

Bon appetite!