Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium forges new partnership to fight counterfeit cheese

ITALY – The Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium has partnered with p-Chip Corporation and Kaasmerk Matec to launch a cheese mark made from casein, integrated with a silicon microchip.

The chip is intended to help Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium guarantee the authenticity of the cheese in the interest of producers, the entire distribution chain, and the final consumer.

Moreover, the digital label Is designed in order to crumble the fake Parmigiano Reggiano market with an estimated global turnover of counterfeit parmesan standing at around $2billion.

The consortium has confirmed that the new digital smart label for food will be applied to 100,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano in the second quarter of 2022.

This represents the final phase of large-scale “testing” before evaluating the possibility of extending this technology to the entire production of Parmigiano Reggiano.

The innovation consists of the combination of the casein plaque with the p-Chip micro-transponder, a blockchain crypto-anchor that creates a digital “twin” for physical objects.

This new, scannable tag is smaller than a grain of salt, highly resistant, and offers a new generation of traceability technology to the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium.

The traceability of Parmigiano Reggiano is already guaranteed by the casein plate, introduced by the Consortium in 2002, which is assigned to each wheel of cheese at the time of birth.

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On the plate, made with milk proteins and therefore edible and safe, there is a unique and progressive alphanumeric code and a QR code which constitute the identity card of the cheese, making it possible to identify its origin at any time and in any place.

The consortium has been at the forefront to promote and defend the authenticity and communicate the differences of cheese that do not meet strict requirements of the PDO (protected designations of origin) produced globally.

Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese is named after the producing areas; the provinces of Reggio Emilia, Parma, the part of Bologna west of the Reno, Modena, and the part of Mantua.

The Italian cheese is made using milk, salt, and rennet. The milk is heated and the starter(whey) and rennet are added to allow the milk to slowly and naturally coagulate and form curds.

These curds are broken into tiny granules, then cooked so they become one single mass. This mass is then formed into two wheels, immersed in a saltwater brine, then removed and left to age for a minimum of 12 months.

The Parmigiano Reggiano cheese-making process result to tiny crunchy granules which give it a very unique texture over the other cheese types.

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