Swiss heavyweight maker of industrial food production equipment and processing lines Bühler has revealed two blockchain-powered products that promise to improve food safety and food production efficiency in the world.
At the Microsoft booth of this year’s industrial technology trade show Hannover Messe in Germany, Bühler unveiled Laatu – which reduces microbial food contamination – and Tubex Pro – a tracking system that can self-optimize measuring. Both tools are integrated with Bühler Insights, its Internet of Things (IoT) platform powered by Microsoft Azure.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015, almost one in 10 of the global population falls ill from food poisoning with nearly half a million people (420,000) dying each year as a result. Children under the age of five are hardest hit hardest – they make up 40% of the total affected with 125,000 deaths annually.
Bühler said in its press release (Apr 1) that unsafe food is also very costly for low and middle-income economies, causing around USD 95 billion in productivity losses each year. Product recalls are also extremely costly for food producers. Laatu and Tubex Pro were developed to respond to such challenges.
Laatu is said to be able to eliminate more than 99.999% of Salmonella in dry foods without compromising their quality and nutritional value. The blockchain-based technology can also destroy other bacteria like Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) spores in milliseconds. Laatu can be installed anywhere along the processing line and reduces energy consumption by up to 80% compared to using steam – and without adding water or chemicals.
Tubex Pro’s self-optimizing measurements allow it to produce a real-time stream of production data and status information to track production, optimize scale performance, and reveal opportunities to improve the yield and performance of a food processing plant. Bühler claims it supports safe food production with full transparency and traceability along the food value chain.
Laatu Project Manager at Bühler, Nicolas Meneses, explained that the blockchain technology will allow instant action if there is any uncertainty in processing.
“This helps reduce the number of people exposed to potentially unsafe food and also to cut food waste as the specific batch can be traced,” he added.