Blockchain beefs up security against food fraud


A new cryptocurrency-based project aims to provide certainty in the beef supply chain.


Can the blockchain guarantee the provenance of meat?
Can the blockchain guarantee the provenance of meat?
Jean-Francois Noblet / Getty

Ever wonder exactly where that delicious steak on your plate came from? Well, now you can find out —thanks to a new food research project called BeefLedger announced by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

The purpose of this endeavour is to track beef, so that consumers in far off lands can rest assured that the beef they are eating came from fine Australian cows.

The project uses the BeefLedger Token or BLT, a digital cryptocurrency, which works on blockchain technology. It enables farmers, butchers, restaurant owners and beef-lovers to participate in the project and track meat through the entire supply chain simply by scanning the barcode or QR code on the product.

Consumers are provided with a wealth of information, including certified data on origin, health, and sale history; which, in turn guarantees the price, safety and quality of the beef.

All this to prevent food fraud, price hikes and ensure food safety, so that inferior meat is not passed off as Australian. The venture will be particularly beneficial in protecting and promoting the reputation of regional suppliers that depend on maintaining a strong reputation for their produce.

So, if you want to find out more about ensuring that your steak is a cut above the rest, visit the website.

Geetanjali Rangnekar is a science communicator and editor, based in Adelaide, Australia.
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