A few months ago, millions of baby milk products were recalled from the market. Following this news, Nestle, along with Walmart and other food-related organizations, are now getting ready to use blockchain to ensure consumer safety. New blockchain developments will be used to track each ingredient in certain food products from the farm they were harvested from until they reach the customer who purchases the final product.
Previous Recalls Of Baby Milk Products
In January 2018, a global scandal by the France-based company Lactalis scared millions of people. The company had to recall over 12 million powdered baby milk products from the shelves of various supermarkets. These 12 million boxes were distributed to a total of 83 countries.
The recall came after Salmonella bacterium species were discovered in one of the facilities where Lactalis products were manufactured. The bacteria were first found to be present in the facility around August 2017. Just three months later, traces of the bacteria in the facility were still reported to be present.
Nestle’s New Plans To Use Blockchain For Better Tracking Of Ingredients And Food Products
This week, Nestle announced their plans to become part of the new software that will rely on blockchain technology to provide better tracking solutions for ingredients that are used in the manufacturing of their baby milk products.
Kim S. Nash said that the recent move from Nestle was primarily to address concerns from both the company and the consumer. He specifically mentioned that consumers want to know what they will be giving their babies, where it comes from and where it has gone. This would ultimately provide better transparency for the consumer. At the same time, it would allow the company to track down the origins of problematic ingredients faster instead of having to go through all sources.
This new blockchain innovation would allow contaminated or “bad” ingredients to be tracked directly to where they originally came from. The system that has been developed for tracking purposes is called the Food Trust system.
Nestle was not the only company to join this program. Unilever PLC, the International Business Machines Corp, and Walmart Inc were among the ten food giants that joined forces in providing a more effective way of tracking ingredients in their food products.
At the moment, this blockchain-based software is in the testing stages. The final product has not been rolled out yet. Nestle did mention that their entire supply chain infrastructure now needs to be redeveloped, which means it will take time and a lot of resources from their side for the new system to be fully functional.
The infrastructures that will be affected by this new system include:
Ultimately, when the system has been completed, the consumers will have the ability to track the source of every ingredient that is found in the milk product they are giving their baby. Milk products are not the only products that can use this tracking option, however. Thousands of other foods can also benefit from the use of this new software system.
Urgent Need For Blockchain-Based Tracking
While ten food organizations, including Nestle, are now on their way to implement the Food Trust program, more companies are likely to join them soon. We have seen many foods recalls in the past few months. Just one day ago, for example, salads were recalled from Walgreens, Trader Joe’s and Kroger due to the possible presence of parasites. The same warning stated that certain “wrap” products that contained poultry, beef, and port might also be affected. These concerns were raised due to traces of cyclospora being detected at a facility where all of these products were handled.
The Food Trust program will address a real issue in the food products industry, making recurring food contamination situations easier to track and control.