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CEA and Connecting Food develop a blockchain solution to increase trust in the food sector

CEA and startup Connecting Food have signed a three-year partnership agreement to develop new tools based on blockchain technology, improving the monitoring and control of products manufactured by the food industry. The innovations resulting from the partnership will enable food industry companies to carry out more effective audits of the conformity of their products throughout the production chain, to ensure the promises made by their brands are being kept.

Published on 27 February 2018

Food industry manufacturers will be able to use blockchain technology to monitor every food product from production to consumption. Although the tools currently available allow food products to be traced, real-time verification of conformity of the differentiating elements of a product, translated into the specifications defined at every stage in the production process, remains a technical and technological challenge for three reasons:

  • The first is the veracity of the recorded information: the sources of information may not be reliable (broken or hacked sensor, ill-intentioned worker, etc.) and the blockchain could contain false information.
  • The second is detection of the non-conformity of a product to the specifications at the earliest opportunity, in a complex network where several sets of specifications are being managed at once.
  •  The third is linked to the volume of transactions to be executed, which can be very large, depending on the activity and number of participants. 
A blockchain is a set of digital tools for collecting and processing information throughout the value chain of a product. It is used to validate and certify transactions (data exchanges that follow certain rules widely used in databases) and make them impossible to falsify.


Innovations by Connecting Food and CEA List 

The Connecting Food solution focuses on the real-time audit of the product against a specification prepared by the brand: the products put on sale conform exactly to the brand’s specifications.

Working with CEA List, which specialises in digital trust, the startup is proposing an advanced audit system that can trigger alerts when events from different sources contradict one another, and that can identify with certainty the sources involved. The system is capable of encoding detection and validation rules and of performing reasoning using artificial intelligence techniques. If the reasoning is proved correct, the audit result is certifiable.
According to Stefano Volpi, co-founder of Connecting Food, “if 50 to 70% of your products are released to consumers without being validated, there has to be a risk. Our solution is therefore responding to a real demand, a real market, for which we are providing a genuine response”.

For Philippe Watteau, Director of CEA-List, “trusting industrial applications based on blockchain means trusting complex logics executing operations on the blockchain. CEA List’s solutions and the expertise of its dedicated R&D team can bring a higher level of trust via formal approaches”. 

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