In the last few weeks, we’ve announced our plans for our new blockchain-powered, end-to-end cold-chain management solution – ZetoChain. We believe that ZetoChain will provide a fix-all for some fundamental flaws in traditional cold chain systems, such as:
- Disjointed, manual monitoring and reporting across parties in the cold chain
- No real-time alerts where the temperature of produce falls outside of acceptable ranges
- No automated reporting for food safety audits
- No automated methods of tracing contaminated produce back to its source
These shortcomings frequently result in lost revenue, waste, and, most worryingly, the sale of contaminated products – along with the associated costs and damage to the retailer’s reputation in the case of recalls or legal action.
We believe that by integrating ZetoChain into the cold-chain, retailers and distributers save money and protect their reputation by drastically reducing these risks.
So how does ZetoChain work?
A ZetoLabel is affixed to products as they are packaged. This label is then digitally assigned to the product in the ZetoChain system. Based on settings that the end user enters into the Zeto app, the Zeto system writes a tamper-proof smart contract to the blockchain that defines a set of acceptable parameters for that product, such as temperature and environmental ranges.
Our blockchain-enabled IoT sensors are placed at every link in the cold chain. These sensors record temperature and other environmental data related to how the products are handled, in real time. This data is securely stored in the blockchain. If an issue arises that causes this data to fall outside of the specified range, the users responsible for the product at that time are alerted in real time via the app.
So, taking a real-world example – let’s say that during the distribution phase of the cold chain, a raw chicken product is transported in a delivery van. If there is an issue with the refrigeration mechanism of the van that causes the temperature of the chicken to rise above the acceptable range, the driver gets an alert via their mobile app in real time, and they can take immediate preventative action to prevent the chicken from spoiling. Similarly, if the driver forgets to correctly close the door of the van, which would cause an increase in temperature, they’re alerted in real time.
The blockchain that stores the recorded information is tamper-proof. Data encryption prevents any party accessing and changing the data recorded in the cold chain or the parameters in the smart contract.
This means that once the chicken arrives at its destination, whether it’s a store, restaurant, or supermarket, the person accepting the delivery can scan the label using the ZetoChain app to see how it was handled and transported, from packaging to delivery. If they don’t have time to view the data, a simple scan will trigger the associated smart contract on the blockchain to automatically check the data. This checks if there was any time where data fell outside the acceptable ranges defined by the end user, and that product is graded as unsafe.
The data collected on products can also be published in a compliance report for food safety audits.
Retail customers can view a full history of the product that they are about to buy or consume by using a mobile app to scan the product’s ZetoLabel, receiving rewards in ZetoCoins for doing so. This will further prevent the consumption of contaminated food and improve consumer trust in the retailer’s brand.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue to tell you about ZetoChain – including the hardware behind it and the ZetoChain app, and we’ll introduce you to ZetoChain’s investment vehicle, ZetoToken. Stay tuned!