In order to defend themselves against product counterfeiting, northern Italian producers of Parmesan want to use a microchip to guarantee the origin and product authenticity. The backgrounds.

What do parmesan, Nuremberg gingerbread and Swabian Maultaschen have in common? All of the above are products with protected indications of origin. The names promise a certain tradition, which is why not every manufacturer is allowed to accept the indications of origin. Nevertheless, there are numerous counterfeit products in circulation.

This is because a higher margin can be achieved with inferior products. Fraudsters therefore produce similar goods and declare them as originals. But how can you be sure that a product really contains what it says on the inside?

Microchip to mark the origin of Parmesan

Some producers of real Northern Italian Parmesan now want to digitally record the origin of their products. The basis for this is a microchip that is embedded in the specialty. This stores information such as the day of manufacture and the place of manufacture. This information can be read out at any time with a portable device.

Manufacturers then label each product batch on a blockchain. This is to ensure the authenticity of the parmesan. In this way, the producers want to protect themselves against an increase in counterfeits. Because real Italian Parmesan may only come from the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua.

Counterfeits achieve a similar turnover as originals

Manufacturers from Northern Italy sold Parmesan cheese worth 2.9 billion euros worldwide last year. At the same time, the market for counterfeit products worth two billion euros is almost as big. Meanwhile, the technology for the Parmesan chip comes from the United States and is said to be edible.

However, once swallowed, it should not be possible to track people. Because the chip can only be read with a laser from close range and is therefore not one of the classic tracking technologies. However, it remains to be seen whether the system will have an effect and whether the guarantee of origin of products can be guaranteed.

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