24 Jun 2022 — A crew of biotechnology and blockchain specialists in Greece are utilizing olive oil DNA to generate a fraud-proof genetic barcode for every bottle. With funding from European analysis and innovation undertaking S3FOOD, the transfer is predicted to attenuate food fraud throughout extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
The digital device will safeguard the authenticity and traceability of EVOO from the sphere. For producers, it means cheaper imitations will not undercut the worth of high-end merchandise.
Consumers can belief that the EVOO in the bottle lives as much as the designation on the label and is protected to devour.
Biodiversity advantages and past
As genuine EVOO positive factors the popularity it deserves, growers may have a better incentive to guard the biodiversity of olive tree varieties.
Stelios Arhondakis is CEO of BioCoS, which is working with technology accomplice InTTrust to develop the anti-fraud traceability device DNAblockchain.
“The high risk of fraud in the olive oil industry is very much related to the product’s economic value, fragmented supply chain and liquid nature. A recent study has found that the value of a premium EVOO may be reduced by 50%,” he says.
Olive oil fraud takes many varieties. In 2019, for instance, Europol seized 150 metric tons of sunflower oil, which the label claimed to be olive oil. Another case concerned 47 millers, two bottlers and merchants who bought oil with a pretend EVOO Protected Geographical Location (PGI) label.
Traceability from tree to shopper
BioCoS is establishing DNA profiles for particular olive varieties used to provide EVOO to counter the issue. One kind – Koroneiki – accounts for round 60% of Greek EVOO manufacturing.
An clever information processing platform makes use of DNA information to confirm the varietal authenticity of EVOO. This info is then built-in right into a blockchain system together with different information, resembling high quality traits, the situation of the olive grove and the amount of EVOO produced.
The complete traceable story can be accessible to customers by way of a QR code on the EVOO bottle.
“Blockchain is already widely used in the olive oil sector to track and trace each lot number from the oil manufacturer to the consumer. However, the limitation of this approach is that it ensures only the traceability of the bottle – not its content.”
“DNA-blockchain bridges this gap, making it impossible to mix olive oil with other varieties or other types of vegetable oil without being discovered. So, if you add 3-5% olive oil from a Greek variety to an Italian product, you would be able to trace it via DNA analysis. That gives complete transparency,” Arhondakis says.
In addition to the advantages for business manufacturers and food security, the DNA information can be utilized to create a ‘geo-genetic’ map of olive growers producing EVOO. Arhondakis believes this might grow to be a necessary useful resource for future efforts to enhance the sustainability of olive cultivation and mitigate local weather change dangers.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
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