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Blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are drastically changing the way businesses operate. Blockchain is a decentralized public ledger, which allows the involved parties to store, append, and access information, and is reliable due to approval of entry to the database. The Internet of Things is the network of devices, appliances, and vehicles that allow the user and machines to interact efficiently, thanks to the data transmitted by the electronics and software solutions.
Software and apps are connecting the world to improve business communication, define processes, and create value for the business services by reinventing production, supply chain, retail, and end-customer satisfaction.
Startups, as well as industry leaders, are adapting software-centric products and even customizing the apps to uncover and prepare for new opportunities, manage the existing products, and increase revenue and market sustainability.
Devices, businesses, and parties involved are extracting valuable insights by combining Blockchain and IoT. This encourages the introduction of new business models and enhanced quality, and the expertise of humans and machines.
Implementing Blockchain and IoT
The transformation of the food industry will see wonderful solutions based on these technologies. Globally initiated and implemented solutions are likely to replace the existing practices at a higher pace than assumed.
With the empowering solutions available across the market, it will no longer be survival of the fittest. People just need to give up their fears of increasing costs, changing demands, and solutions.
With the rising impact on health, and changes in behavior towards healthcare, consumers are conscious and get involved in their food quality, packaging, and processing. This is one of the reasons why companies need to accept the new technology.
Increased involvement of parties like farmers, harvesters, manufacturers, processors, packagers, suppliers, warehouses, distributors, restaurateurs, retail outlets, and individual users shows anyone can benefit from Blockchain and IoT.
Increasingly, Customers nowadays want to know about soil and crop quality, techniques used in cultivation, precautionary measures in the growth of crop, sizes, tastes, and preferences, and such expectations fulfilled by the technology.
Setbacks of Technology that Affect the Food Industry
The limitations of Blockchain and IoT-based solutions center around the amount of information currently processed. The security of industrial data is a concern, and added administrative activities like contracts between the parties can cause disinterest of users at the initial stages.
Technology expertise is not yet proven, so acceptance of it in the food industry is gradual. Blockchain technology can function if all parties use it, but making sure everyone becomes technology savvy is difficult.
Blockchain and IoT Tech will Guarantee Human Food and Pet Food Safety
- Production, Storage, and Food Processing: Real-time data and analysis of production helps in quality control, productivity, and the processing of food by keeping the food safe and healthy, whether by the components of food like proteins and vitamins or storage optimization by moisture control or preservation. The acquired data and software intervention allow people to make accurate decisions.
IoT-based sensors connected to cameras help in the documentation of food safety with quality checking and detection of irregularities, temperature control for longer shelf life, production standards, and location of food. These sensors also predict the maintenance needs of machinery used in the food industry.
- Food Quality: Food quality has a great impact on the health of human beings and their pets. Companies use Blockchain to track and inspect the quality of food items from farming to delivery and storage.
Smartphone scanning of QR codes can give customers information on the content of packages, shelf life, food grade packaging, crop or meat quality, freshness of meat and vegetables, how the meat was treated, ingredients in the processed food, precautions taken in harvesting, time and location of manufacturing, FDA-certified food and much more. In the case of pet food, the grain-free diets, nutritious and high-protein food ingredients are all cross-checked and such data increases the trust in the brand.
- Transparency in the Supply Chain of the Food Industry: Transactional transparency gives users real-time information and an overall and detailed view of the transactions. Blockchain technology and IoT can reduce the complexity of the supply chain, and the degree of detailing can monitor the quality and parties involved in the process. It builds a mutual relation of trust and smooths the functions of business.
- Tracking Consignments: The tracking of consignments to maintain the delivery schedule is essential to meeting deadlines and the impact on profits. Technology in tracking empowers both the customers and companies. It helps in inventory management, identifying the supply management issues, finding the history of food items, meeting the food safety laws, and many things that will benefit in cost saving.
- Food Safety: An important aspect of the food industry is the safety involved in production, supply, and consumption. Technology helps companies to be more responsible and responsive in times of safety issues. It guides companies and consumers to either sell and consume the food prior to the expiration dates or trash them.
The supervision of food while processing and during transportation is possible and the reports are reliable compared to previous manual methods. High speed information on food safety is useful in blocking the spread of infectious diseases. Worldwide food standards are improved, and new rules applied in accordance with the impact of contaminated food on human and animal health.
Through this technology, the supply chain can make united efforts to comply with local and global regulations. The global database of food products will provide higher safety, traceability, and uniformity in the functioning of the industry overall. All stages of food product development and storage specifications are met with indications available with the product.
Improved public and pet health, reduced hospitalizations and medical expenses, and lower death rates are all achievable with the Blockchain and IoT-based solutions.
- Innovation in the Food Industry: Due to internet connectivity, the world is smaller than ever, and people are open and willing to try different foods across borders, creating a cultural blend. Longer shelf life, faster delivery, access to food from different countries, innovation in the types of products, maintaining freshness of products, and high-speed operational capacity are all new innovations.
- Food Wastage: The waste of human food every year is one-third of the world’s production, which approximates to 1.3 billion tons. Food wastage is a global problem and waste reduction is a challenge for all countries. Blockchain and IoT provide real-time information on food quality and preservation criteria.
If efficiently managed, the tons of food that currently are wasted, can be consumed, distributed, and contribute toward ending world hunger. Within each country there is room for improvement: a recent report said India wastes Rs 244 crores worth of food per day, and is seventh in food wastage. Another report says India ranks 100th in the Global Hunger Index of 119 countries.
With the partnership of humans and technology, food waste reduction is possible at each stage: planting, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, retailing, and consuming. Technology supplies the information and we can utilize the food before it spoils.
Connecting Links to Seal the Gaps of the Food Industry
Shipping of food has many major challenges including climate, packaging, food quality and safety measures, prevention of spillage, leakage, etc. Technology empowers the industry in identifying and sealing the gaps by speedy data processing, analyzing, learning from the past, traceability of products, predictions, and changing the plans based on needs.
Prior to technological involvement with Blockchain and IoT in the food industry, it took days to identify the location of crops; now such information is available in a few seconds. We are building a better future by investing in such technologies.
The availability and enlargement of the Internet of Things and Blockchain solutions/services is transforming companies, employees, vendors, and customer experiences; it helps in maintaining the standards of quality and safety, encouraging innovation in human and pet food, processing food data, sharing in real time, improved capacity and control, better work efficiency, and implementing technology for the universal benefit of better standards of living and reduced entrepreneurial risks.
By using existing technologies or customized solutions, companies can optimize the operation of assets and facilities to extract maximum ROI (return on investment) with lower costs.