Blockchain use in food processing is another of this emerging technology’s myriad potential use cases. Some prominent blockchain use cases are publishing, banking, NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts. Companies like IBM and others are deploying blockchain solutions in supply chains, healthcare, government, retail, media and advertisement, oil and gas, telecommunications, manufacturing, insurance, travel and transportation, financial services, and manufacturing. As the technology evolves and matures, it will likely add to the available technologies. I envisage it will become, for example, as ubiquitous as ERP is today.
Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that records transactions and tracks assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.
Food processing begins with ingredient sourcing, logistics, segregation, sorting, and quality control of raw material at the food processing unit entry, placing the raw material on the manufacturing conveyor unit, processing, packaging, labeling, storage, logistics, warehousing, and distribution.
Today’s automated processes use ERP or bespoke solutions specific to a unit. These have limitations: they are inherently not cybersecure and require additional solutions to protect them from hacking. Some processes, especially those related to sensitive data like sourcing, distribution, and even accounting, need additional security layers to provide them with reasonable security cover.
Deployment of blockchain technology in ERP solutions should help make the entire process more secure and robust.
In time ERP and other solution products will transition to blockchain. If it were to happen, the software product development industry would be in for a disruption. Blockchain technology use case in food processing could bring unprecedented transparency. Given the nature of this technology, all users of the blockchain transactions will become transparent to all users.