In July, the first brand of brown sugar with a traceability system based on blockchain, a cutting-edge technology capable of attesting the transparency and integrity of product information, begins to arrive on the shelves of stores and supermarkets. By means of a QR Code stamped on the product’s packaging, anyone can verify the information about the origin and the manufacturing process. The brown type is valued in the segment of natural and healthy products, but it is still the target of cases of adulteration.
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Over three years, a team of specialists from Embrapa Agricultura Digital (SP) worked on the development of the Brazilian Agricultural Traceability System (Sibraar). The technology was customized for brown sugar and validated in the agro-industrial plant of Usina Granelli, a partner in the pilot project. Now, the company will be the first licensee to market the tracked product, which will carry the Embrapa Technology seal.
Embrapa researchers explain that the system was introduced into the production process this June, starting the first batches with traceability via blockchain. Under the licensing agreement, a percentage of sales will revert to Embrapa in the form of royalties. The development of the project also had the support of the Cooperativa dos Plantadores de Cana do Estado de São Paulo (Coplacana).
For each batch of Granelli’s brown sugar, the date of production, the variety of cane used and the identification and geolocation of the rural property that supplied the raw material for that batch will be made available, in accordance with the rules provided for in the General Data Protection Law. Personnel (LGPD). Information will also be provided on the microbiological analysis of the product and on the physical and chemical parameters of that sugar, such as sucrose content, moisture and color.
The Embrapa system was initially conceived for the sugar-energy sector, but can also be customized for the agro-industry linked to other agricultural chains, such as grain. For researcher Alexandre de Castro, leader of the project, the demand from domestic and foreign consumer markets for safer and more sustainable foods has grown.
“The adoption of tools with embedded blockchain-type technologies emerges as an important alternative to serve this market, as they allow each manufactured batch to receive a unique digital signature to create a secure trail of data auditability”, he highlights.