Internet of Things (IoT)
As technology, let’s first look at the web, the internet, more precisely the sensors and machines connected to the web, commonly called the Internet of Things.
The use of sensors in companies and factories to observe, measure, sample, detect all kinds of physical phenomena does not go back to yesterday. On the other hand, we are witnessing the emergence of sensors, measuring instruments and so-called intelligent machines directly linked to the Internet, often via a wireless interface. Sensors measuring temperature, humidity, light, the presence of chemical agents, microbiological, movement, geolocation. At the same time, there is a drastic drop in the price of these sensors. We find in the tens of dollars in consumer version and in the few hundred dollars for industrial versions.
The omnipresence of these sensors will not only collect huge amounts of extremely important information across the entire food supply chain, but will also make this information available to the various stakeholders, be it consumers, regulators, legislators or related service providers. The internet allows access to these data in an easy, secure and controlled way.
There are approximately 20 billion devices of all kinds connected to the internet. It is expected that by 2025, we will reach 75 billion devices. It is undeniable that the food industry will not escape, especially since this technology can address certain issues.
The food supply chain is complex and consumers and regulators have little visibility of it to such an extent that such fraud is extremely difficult to detect. The Internet of Things has the potential to provide the extra visibility the industry needs about where food comes from, how it is processed, and how it goes on the plate.
But what is the point of collecting and storing phenomenal amounts of information if the authenticity of it is unverifiable. And if a measuring instrument in the laboratory was manipulated to meet a threshold or geolocation instruments were falsified in order to change the country of origin of a product? Do connected objects alone eliminate fraud?