ADNAS moves into DNA traceability for down & feather

Stony Brook, NY – Applied DNA Sciences Inc. has put another feather in its cap, so to speak. The trailblazer in PCR-based DNA manufacturing for …

Stony Brook, NY – Applied DNA Sciences Inc. has put another feather in its cap, so to speak.

The trailblazer in PCR-based DNA manufacturing for product authenticity and traceability solutions, announced a sales and marketing partnership with Navarpluma that extends Applied DNA’s Textiles business to include the global down and feather supply chain.

A technological advance by Applied DNA allows Navarpluma S.L. to use the SigNature DNA system to its trace down & feather supply chain. Navarpluma will be the first to offer this new system to its customer base.

In 2004, Navarpluma built a new, modern factory in Northern Spain. Working with the French company Ets Abel Crabos and with new state- of-the-art facilities for down and feather production, Navarpluma is able to market approximately 5,000 tons of feather and down material per year to clients around the globe.

“Use of Applied DNA’s SigNature DNA system gives Navarpluma the ability to validate the provenance of raw materials used. This ability conveys a significant competitive advantage to our products in the marketplace and to those products manufactured from our raw materials,” said Benjamin Dix, export manager at Navarpluma.

Tony Benson, Applied DNA’s managing director for EMEA, cited Navarpluma’s reputation in the market as an innovative and forward-thinking supplier known for its advances in technology.

“Traceability has been a key goal for them over the past several years,” Benson noted. “Being first-to-market with end-to-end traceability of its supply chain should attract new clients to Navarpluma while also creating stickier relationships with its customer base.”

This marks Applied DNA’s first foray into the growing down feather market, which it said was valued at $5.9 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $10.25 billion by the end of 2025.

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Despite a “Crypto Winter,” Blockchain-for-Food Projects Push Forward to Reduce Risk in the US …

Penta has raised 30 million dollars in private funding, including investments by Draper Dragon, Node Capital, Block VC and LD Capital. With a …

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — During what some are calling the Crypto Winter of 2018/2019, blockchain-centered startups have struggled to survive the shakeout in the adjacent crypto space and separate themselves from the investment mania surrounding tokens. To tackle this nascent market, some blockchain ventures are banding together to educate the world around blockchain’s promise —and how it can create real social impact independent of crypto.

Food traceability and supply chain risk reduction are two use cases often discussed as having strong potential to leverage shared ledger technologies. Two such ventures, Seattle-based Transparent Path, and Los Angeles-based Penta Network, have joined forces to bring traceability to US food producers and retailers. The partnership will focus on improving food traceability speed, thus reducing risks related to food-borne illnesses, and allowing consumers to benefit from greater transparency in the food supply chain.

In 2018, the US food industry was shaken by a number of recalls involving food-borne pathogens and contaminants, and with good reason. Serious Class I meat and poultry recalls have risen 83% since 2013, and in 2018, some turned deadly. As stories of the recalls spread, consumers were confronted by the reality that brands they had always assumed were safe, might not be. These incidents included parasites in fast-food salads, salmonella baked into crackers, strawberries with embedded needles, and widespread E. coli outbreaks that killed five.

As consumer awareness of the problem has grown, so have the demands for more transparent, traceable food products. A 2018 report by the Food Marketing Institute and Label Insight revealed that 75% of shoppers indicated they would switch to brands that provided more in-depth product information beyond the physical label.

“Part of the issue concerns family health,” said Transparent Path CEO & Co-Founder Eric Weaver. “47% of American households have at least one family member following a diet or health improvement program. When they search for product information, our research has shown a growing lack of trust with the information they find. Currently only 26% of US consumers trust the Organic Certification label. And 89% of these households switch to a new food product when they aren’t satisfied with the information provided.”

“That’s why we got into this business: to arm consumers with data to make their own informed choices. It’s also a chance to apply our knowledge and experience to reducing risk — health risk, financial risk, and reputational risk. By using sensors to capture data without requiring a lot of manual input, and by sharing the origins and provenance data of the food among all parties in the food chain, we can trace recalls back to the source far more quickly, and reduce the food waste and unnecessary expense during a recall.”

In the new partnership announced at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, the two companies will combine Transparent Path’s IoT expertise and US market connections with Penta’s proven enterprise-grade blockchain ecosystem.

“In 2017, we pioneered Blockchain Rice, one of the first use cases of food traceability in China, tracking rice from nearly 13 million acres of farmland and making the data available to consumers purchasing the rice from online retailers,” stated David Ritter, CEO of Penta. “The benefits of fast traceability and food transparency are incredibly important to consumers. Imagine holding your mobile phone over a product at the grocery store and seeing exactly where it came from, how it got to you, and what happened to it along the way. This is the kind of transparency consumers will demand for all food products in the coming years.”

“Blockchain technology makes this possible, as it gives the various parties in a supply chain visibility into product origin and provenance from a trusted data stream,” Ritter added. “For example, if a truck carrying frozen beef has a breakdown or a risky temperature violation, product sensors would instantly notify the recipient, perhaps a food processor or distribution center. By identifying the risk early on, we could prevent risk to retailers and consumers. Bad food wouldn’t even reach the shelves in the first place. This is going to revolutionize the way we do our food shopping.”

Another promising aspect of the partnership is ProofScore™, the “FICO score for transparency” developed by Transparent Path. “You’re at the grocery store, and there are two different heads of lettuce,” explained Weaver, “one producer has openly shared origin data, growing methods, certifications and logistics data in real time — perhaps even sharing videos from the farm. That product would receive a very high ProofScore. The second head of lettuce has no ProofScore on the label, so the consumer has little idea of where the food was produced. Which would you buy?”

“A few years from now, ProofScore could help a lot of brands,” said Maria Emmer-Aanes, VP Sales & Marketing for Numi Organic Tea and an advisory board member for Transparent Path. “Transparency in the food business helps demonstrate the value of organic certifications, and creates appreciation and understanding for the lengths that organic, fair-trade and low-impact food brands go to in service to their customers. These kinds of advancements in food technology create a new level of transparency for consumers eager for more information about where their food comes from.”

ABOUT TRANSPARENT PATH

Transparent Path (xparent.io) is a food traceability platform that shows proof of custody for food and consumer packaged goods products. Using IoT sensors and blockchain traceability, the company’s ProofPlatform™ provides food producers with the technologies needed to prove chain of custody along the entire distribution process. The company’s ProofScan™ mobile app and ProofScore™ ranking system are currently being deployed in the United States.

ABOUT PENTA NETWORK

Penta Network (http://www.penta.global) is a next generation blockchain platform, designed to provide both base-layer public infrastructure and enterprise blockchain solutions. More than 80 leading financial institutions and public sector partners use technology developed by Penta. Penta has raised 30 million dollars in private funding, including investments by Draper Dragon, Node Capital, Block VC and LD Capital. With a mission to use blockchain technology to build a more inclusive and transparent economy, Penta focuses on blockchain projects with real world application. Currently, Penta has offices in Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Melbourne.

SOURCE Transparent Path

Here’s how blockchain can return confidence to the Indian food industry

One of the possible sources of that transparency is Blockchain. This innovative technology could give manufacturers, distributors, restaurants and …
By Prasad Rai

The last few years have been disruptive for India’s F&B industry. The rise of cloud kitchens and app-based food delivery has created a new normal. The customer who is ordering food, however, has no visibility or awareness of the hygiene standards maintained or the quality of products used, at the restaurants they choose.

The most recent incident of a delivery agent eating out of a customer’s order has shaken up the industry and created doubts in the minds of consumers. Fake medicines and adulterated food items like milk, sweets and vegetables with injected colors, sneak into our food chain and no one gets any wiser. While tighter safety regulations and more stringent self-checks have a part to play, it is increasingly clear that better traceability and transparency could help the supply chains prevent future incidents like these from disrupting business owners’ and consumers’ lives.

One of the possible sources of that transparency is Blockchain. This innovative technology could give manufacturers, distributors, restaurants and retailers a single source of truth about every shipment that passes through our incredibly complex food supply chains. Blockchain technology may even help businesses regain and reinforce trust from the general public – acting as a “certification of excellence” that consumers could rely on when choosing products off the shelf.

Placing higher emphasis on traceability

Producers, distributors, eateries and retailers often blindly must trust each other when operating their supply chains. For instance, instead of conducting stringent and time-consuming background checks on the authenticity of their shipped produce, food retailers will often choose to trust the quality assurance processes of their suppliers. Although this simplifies supply chains, it becomes challenging when a food crisis occurs – often thrusting businesses into a race against time to locate the source of contamination. At the beginning of a crisis, the standard operating procedure would be to perform a complete recall of all products – even uncontaminated ones – as both a cautionary action and an attempt to buy more time.

While the immediate effects of this – profit loss, supply line disruption, food wastage – are quite damaging, it is the long-term aftereffects, namely the break of customer trust that can really hurt reputations. The longer a business takes to identify the source of a contamination and take remedial action, the greater the risk of mass uproar. Thus, tracing any product batch through the entire supply chain is in the best interest of every participant or stakeholder.

Blockchain can do this by creating a record of every such batch – one that’s automatically updated as it goes from field to factory to supermarket to fridge and cannot be edited without the permission of every party in that supply chain. That creates a data trail which improves the track and trace capabilities throughout the supply chain – potentially allowing batches with issues to be identified and isolated within hours instead of weeks and paving the way for more concrete action.

This sort of visibility means food companies would be able to identify contamination with more speed and accuracy than ever before. In the case of produce contamination at a specific farm, for example, producers could send instructions to retailers to take only affected batches off the shelves, while providing hard data to consumers and regulators showing that other batches were safe for consumption. That would’ve made it easier for relevant stakeholders to contain the furor, regain public trust and even identify those responsible with greater speed and trustworthiness.

Customers want greater transparency

Blockchain could also help the food industry in giving consumers what they want. We already know that the existence of a blockchain tracking system would dramatically raise the attention given to food security and integrity: operators are less likely to cut corners if they know their effort – or lack thereof – would be evident to every other partner. This will possibly place food supply chains in closer alignment with evolving consumer habits – namely an increased awareness towards the origins of food products.

Making the food supply chain more transparent allows businesses to better adhere to today’s ever-tightening food safety regulations. This allows participants of the supply chain to be confident in their ability to comply with the regulations of any country, no matter how long or complex the supply chain becomes.

Further, this level of clarity would also help answer consumers’ growing questions about where their food comes from. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the authenticity and safety of their food sources. Food companies or supply chains that can provide more truthful information on how their food is grown, packed, processed, shipped and delivered along the supply chain will be in a better position to give consumers the assurance they desire.

It’s still early days yet for blockchain, yet it holds great potential for revolutionizing the supply chain of F&B industry in the country. If used correctly, it could help demystify today’s complex and sprawling food supply chains, making it easier to ensure the security and safety of the food that we eat. Our countrymen deserve peace of mind when buying their food – and blockchain technology could provide it like never before. The benefits for food safety and customer loyalty are worth digesting for any farmer, distributor, restaurant or retailer.

(The writer is the Vice-President, Applications, Oracle India)

Blockchain enters agriculture industry for recall purposes

By quickly tracing leafy greens back to source during an outbreak using recent advances in new and emerging technologies, impacts to human health …

(Watch for this story Monday morning on WZZM TV 13) The spread of E. coli has forced major retailers to reconsider the way they track their produce.

Romaine lettuce has been at the center of recalls this year, which has caused Walmart and Sam’s Club to require their suppliers to use blockchain technology to trace their leafy greens back to the farmers.

By September 2019, suppliers must use IBM Food Trust, blockchain technology that digitalizes transactions and data from the supply chain, which includes growers, processors, shippers, retailers, regulators, consumers and other information such as certifications, test data and temperature data. When the information is needed, it can be accessed in seconds, as opposed to days or sometimes weeks, according to a statement released by Walmart.

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there have been 210 cases of E. coli in romaine lettuce, which have caused 96 hospitalizations and five deaths. In the state of Michigan, there have been 26 cases of E. coli detected in lettuce this year, according to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.

“Walmart believes the current one step up and one step back model of food traceability is outdated for the 21st century and, that by working together, we can do better,” the company said. “There is no question that there is a strong public-health and business case for enhanced food traceability. By quickly tracing leafy greens back to source during an outbreak using recent advances in new and emerging technologies, impacts to human health can be minimized, health officials can conduct rapid and more thorough root cause analysis to inform future prevention efforts, and the implication and associated losses of unaffected products that are inaccurately linked to an outbreak can be avoided.”

Walmart has been relying on the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), which is primarily a paper trail that tracks produces from grower to retailer. Phillip Tocco, good agricultural practices, food safety and food and animal systems educator at Michigan State University Extension, described PTI as a stock keeping unit that keeps track of growers’ produces.

He said stock keeping units use a special printer that prints out a large paper with a barcode, which also has smaller papers with the same barcode. The smaller barcode is placed on produce like romaine lettuce before it continues to go up the supply chain. As a result, it takes a long time for the retailer to trace the bacteria back to the grower when there is an outbreak.

“All growers that sell into large-scale markets like Walmart have to have a traceability plan in place, even if it is just a simple 12-digit number that tells you where it came from, who picked it, when it was picked and what it is — basic information can be coded in a 10- or 12-digit (barcode) … the hard part is standardization,” Tocco said.

Now, Walmart has established a new standard that requires all suppliers to use IBM Food Trust, which will more quickly trace E. coli bacteria back to its source.

The digital blockchain provides some tamper-proof ability to secure the data that is uploaded, stored, checked and replicated multiple times through the journey from a farm to the retailer.

However, the blockchain will not stop the spread of E. coli. Lance Kraai, farm director of Grand Rapids-based New City Neighbors, said E. coli is easily spread when there are large amounts of lettuce.

“E. coli in lettuce washing is only a major issue in large-scale commercial growing operations where lettuce is washed in bulk,” Kraai said. “In this situation, one contaminated head enters a mass washing bin and then contaminates the entirety of all the lettuce that gets washed until the water is changed.”

Tocco said the deadly bacteria are first identified at a hospital, where an individual is diagnosed with a foodborne illness. Then the doctors are required to notify the county health department about the case, which reports it to the state health department. The state then reports it to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Once Walmart is alerted, it will immediately be able to trace the head of lettuce back to its origin within seconds, the company said.

Blockchain provides greater supply chain insights as well as traceability, says PMA

Blockchain technology involves a distributed ledger to which companies contribute encrypted blocks of data. This can be monitored and verified by …

The use of blockchain in the fresh produce industry will not only allow for vastly improved traceability but will also provide greater visibility and insights along the supply chain, according to Ed Treacy, vice president of supply chain efficiencies at the Produce Marketing Association (PMA).

Treacy spoke to Fresh Fruit Portal following Walmart’s recent announcement it is requiring its leafy green suppliers to have the technology in place within a year.

He also explained that there would be no cost for companies seeking minimal compliance with the incoming requirements and expected the retailer’s request would be extended to suppliers of other produce items in the near future.

Blockchain technology involves a distributed ledger to which companies contribute encrypted blocks of data. This can be monitored and verified by everyone along the supply chain, and no one can make a change without everyone knowing and agreeing.

Although it has been around for many years – it is what makes the decentralized cryptocurrency Bitcoin possible – it has only recently become a hot topic in the fresh produce industry and touted as a key element of bolstering food safety and traceability.

Walmart has been working with IBM for over a year on using the blockchain to digitize the food supply chain process. The U.S.-based information technology company has developed the IBM Food Trust solution specifically for use in this area, and Treacy has been closely connected to the development.

“Blockchain is just a protocol for sharing data – a set of rules,” he said.

“The beauty of it is that because it uses an encryption, the data cannot be changed. If it is, it becomes inherently obviously to everything who looks at it.”

Over the last year to 18 months, produce companies have been trying to figure out how to leverage that data into applications that would make the industry more efficient.

Treacy explained that since 2013 Walmart has required its suppliers to label their cases of fresh produce with a Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) bar code label before shipping.

But even with this requirement, on a test with dried mango slices a traceback all the way back to the farm took six days and 20 hours, given the large number of companies involved along the supply chain.

A few months later, Walmart worked with IBM on a trail to traceback a similar item. The total time it took to have a complete history of the item was just 2.2 seconds.

Supply chain insights

But while there are clearly significant benefits in terms of fresh produce traceability, Treacy explained that the IBM trial had demonstrated there were also a number of important side benefits, such as visibility of every stage of the supply chain.

“Walmart discovered that the product had sat at the U.S.-Mexican border for three days trying to get across. Frank Yiannas [VP of food safety at Walmart] looked at this and said that if they had known the product was sitting at the border for three days, they could have helped them, as they know what’s required to get product through the border in an expedited manner,” he said.

“This happened two stages before it became Walmart’s product, so they never would have had visibility into that, nor did they until they strung the actual supply chain together.”

Treacy explained that only a tiny percentage of fresh produce items are ever traced, but if the industry can identify areas that aren’t performing as well as they should be the whole supply chain can be made more efficient and the consumer can be given the best experience.

Walmart brought in various other companies in order to figure out how best harness the data, making sure that whatever they came up with was based on current industry standards and practices and that everyone along the supply chain would benefit.

“They were very calculated in making sure that those two things were where they were going to end up … and I believe they’ve achieved that,” he said.

No cost for compliance with new blockchain requirements

Leafy green suppliers looking for minimal compliance with Walmart’s recently announced requirement that they must have blockchain traceability within a year should not face any additional costs, Treacy said.

He said that as long as suppliers already use the PTI labels, which Walmart has required since 2013, and send the electronic advance shipping notice (ASN), required since last year, the main things they will need to do are also send the ANS to IBM’s Food Trust portal, and ensure that all their data is accurate.

“They don’t need to reinvent the wheel and turn their systems upside out. And as long as they’re labeling with that PTI case label and creating and transmitting an electronic advance shipment notice, this shouldn’t be a huge lift for companies to participate,” he said.

If they choose, however, suppliers will be able to pay a fee to IBM to gain the supply chain visibility and insights.

Asked whether he expected Walmart would require blockchain implementation for produce items other than leafy greens in the near future, Treacy said he wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen.

“I do know that Walmart has said they are looking at other commodities and they’re going to do it in a phased rollout manner. So they’re not shy of saying ‘this is the start, it’s not the end,” he said.

Walmart is also piloting blockchain technology for certificate management, which will use the Trellis framework developed by a PMA taskforce. It will involve all certifications produce companies are required, related to aspects such as business licenses, food safety and fair work practices, and will reduce the huge challenge of managing paperwork or electronic documents manually.

Treacy highlighted that Trellis was developed using the same encryption protocol as blockchain to simplify the process for the industry.

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