Combatting counterfeiting food by using edible microchips

Producers of Parmigiano-Reggiano, the original parmesan cheese, are using edible microchips to protect against counterfeit products. The microchips are being placed on their cheese wheels to verify authenticity

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The European Union (EU) has granted protected status to over 3,500 products, including Parmigiano, Greek feta cheese, French Champagne, and Italian Parma raw ham. The market for protected products is valued at almost €80 billion annually. However, counterfeit products flood the market due to their premium prices. European food producers are employing innovative methods such as serial numbers, invisible ink, and DNA fingerprinting to guarantee the origin of their products. QR codes are also being used to provide information on aging and processing methods.

The EU is facing challenges in protecting naming rights, such as for Champagne and feta. Legal action is taken against identified knockoff producers, including simultaneous lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions. Parmigiano producers are using edible microchips developed by p-Chip, which utilize blockchain technology to authenticate data and trace the cheese back to its milk producer. The chips have undergone extensive testing on over 100,000 Parmigiano wheels to ensure they withstand the aging process. These microchips, which can also be used in the automotive industry and livestock or crop management, cannot be remotely accessed, ensuring privacy. They represent a significant advancement in the fight against counterfeit food products and provide enhanced security for renowned food brands.