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As technology companies trace fine wines and vanilla back to their source

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Vanilla pods of vanilla from Madagascar. CREDIT: Getty

Stella Parks knows her vanilla. & Nbsp; "It may seem a little bit like a sommelier situation," jokes the expert pastry chef Eat serious editor, but most of the tasters & nbsp; can understand that & nbsp; out thereIt is a difference between & nbsp;Tahitian Beans & nbsp; and & nbsp; of Madagascar. It's a bit like the difference between a granny smith apple and a delicious redhead, he says, adding, "terroir is a huge thing".

"The Tahitian vanilla pods are incredibly thick and plump and loaded with natural moisture," says Parks, but the beans in Madagascar have a much more classic "aromatic profile". Probably the notes of intense flavor would be wasted in something like a cookie with chocolate chips, but in recipes where the vanilla provides the main flavor note, like vanilla ice cream or angel food pie, Parks says that It of& nbsp; absolutely essential to use real beans. For a professional pastry chef like Parks, the vanilla labeled "grown in Madagascar" must be exactly that.

And that& # 39; S& nbsp; a significant challenge for the importers of vanilla. Vanilla is a difficult crop, which takes years to mature and exhausting work for harvesting. The pods must be hand-pollinated and harvested by hand, and grow only in some predominantly rural areas of the world, such as Madagascar and Uganda. Vanilla & nbsp; sellers are & nbsp; often at the mercy of suppliers to ensure vanilla, but now blockchain is changing & nbsp; that story.

The recent buzz on the blockchain has been focused on daily foods like green leafy vegetablesbut many blockchain companies are discovering that there is also a premium food market. Jacob Ner-David, whose Israeli block company, VinX, is focused on wine, states that his company's blockchain is the exact opposite of Walmart's green operation.

Vineyards seen on a plateau of volcanic terrain on the Golan Heights in Israel. CREDIT: Esteban Alterman / Bloomberg News

Considering that green leafy vegetable growers will somehow anonymously exist on the blockchain until there is a problem, winemakers want to reveal everything. "Even if they are large wineries," he says, "they would like their unique identity to come out."

Ambrosus, a global blockchain company founded in 2016, has now created a blockchain for the monitoring of Madagascar vanilla for their client importer, Premium Goods. Premium Goods sells its vanilla to food professionals who are quite particular about their ingredients, a bit like Stella Parks. Angel Versetti, CEO of Ambrosus explains, "are the chefs of the best restaurants in Europe, they are the companies that produce expensive perfumes, and it is the great food producers who take the vanilla extract and then create an aroma to add to food. " Vanilla is a well-called aromatic lure, explains Parks.

For Versetti, vanilla is just the latest food product to test its blockchain. His company also works with pharmaceutical clients to track the transportation of vaccines that need to be stored at certain temperatures.

Verses & nbsp; it seems that he has never worked in the vanilla industry, but does not consider it an inconvenience. In fact, vanilla with the blockchain-tracable is so popular that it's already sold out, it boasts Versetti. "Once people saw that they could have something that is not just about an empty promise or some sort of label, but actually they record pure data on the blockchain, the demand has increased a lot."

A sensor is located in a field of tomatoes at Wards Berry Farm in Sharon, Massachusetts. CREDIT: Photographer: Adam Glanzman / Bloomberg

VinX, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on the wine industry and its co-founder and CEO, Ner-David, is himself an oenologist in Israel. Fraud is a huge problem for the higher end in the industry, where investors buy expensive bottles and trade in wine futures without so much time as a tasting test.

Doctors Ventures, a subsidiary of Overstock.com and a recent investor in VinX, bet on blockchain to provide certainty in this precarious and expensive niche market. Jonathan Johnson, President of Medici Ventures, says so& # 39; S a long-awaited solution for wine buyers. "[Tracking] the origin of the wine is a big problem for the high end [investor]".

The wine industry has long relied on the art of storytelling to market its product, with abundant details on growing conditions, harvests and oak barrels & nbsp; serves as the background & nbsp; every & nbsp; expensive bottle. Blockchain can tell buyers the same story, but blockchain has & nbsp; an added feature: a built-in fact-checker. With the blockchain, buyers can check & nbsp; that the history of their wine is founded on the truth.

While the wine industry still does not use the blockchain to reveal the conditions of the vineyards, this is certainly where it goes, says Ner-David, as many aspects of wine making are already digitized. "From my iPhone, I can tell what is the temperature of each barrel … the level of acidity [and] fermentation tanks ", he explains.

The challenge for early adopters of blockchain & nbsp; in the wine industry it will be the way they take the raw data and turn them into something meaningful to the buyer. This challenge will come soon, says Ner-David. "In terms of bringing people into the vineyard itself, we're going there. & Nbsp; The story was written on the blockchain."

Creating a robust blockchain means putting tracking mechanisms as close as possible to the crop, says Versetti. In the Ambrosus blockchain, for example, the first step is to assign the unique identification number to the vanilla bundle.

Next, says Versetti, "register it at the blockchain [to say] we have just created a package of medicines or, in this case, a bundle of vanilla. "The asset is then checked and recorded at each stage of the process to make sure the conditions are correct.

Because moisture can spoil the vanilla, says Versetti, "[if] the humidity level rises, or some people intentionally increase … then the weight increases. "So the buyer ends up paying more for the soaked vanilla pods.Once & nbsp; the product reaches the end of the chain supply, what& # 39; S& nbsp; left is what Versetti calls the "digital certificate of product life".

An Italian winemaker tries a glass of Prosecco wine for authenticity in a restaurant. CREDIT: Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico / Bloomberg

For blockchain companies like VinX and Ambrosus, the most interesting feature is the fact that the data, once inserted,S& nbsp; immutable and immutable. So, whether you're tracing the vanilla or a bottle of wine, the story of how that food was produced can not be rewritten. & Nbsp; With a little luck, the additional pressure should help producers make their vanilla really come from Madagascar & nbsp; and their expensive Israeli Shirah has not been replaced by some mold & nbsp;& # 39; Two-Buck Chuck. & # 39; Blockchain can help trace these craft foods to their source to ensure them& # 39; Re & nbsp; just what demanding consumers are & nbsp; looking for. & Nbsp;& Nbsp; & nbsp;

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Vanilla pods of vanilla from Madagascar. CREDIT: Getty

Stella Parks knows her vanilla. "It may seem a little bit of a sommelier situation," jokes the expert pastry chef and Eat serious editor, but most of the tasters can understand itIt is a difference between Beans of Tahiti and Madagascar. It's a bit like the difference between a granny smith apple and a delicious redhead, he says, adding, "terroir is a huge thing".

"Tahitian vanilla beans are incredibly thick and plump and loaded with natural moisture," says Parks, but the beans in Madagascar have a much more classic "aromatic profile". Those notes of intense flavor would probably be wasted in something like a chocolate-chip cookie, but in recipes where vanilla provides the main flavor note, like vanilla ice cream or angelic food pie, Parks says that It of absolutely essential to use real beans. For a professional pastry chef like Parks, the vanilla labeled "grown in Madagascar" must be exactly that.

And that& # 39; S a significant challenge for the importers of vanilla. Vanilla is a difficult crop, which requires years of ripening and a long labor to harvest. The pods must be hand-pollinated and harvested by hand, and grow only in some predominantly rural areas of the world, such as Madagascar and Uganda. Vanilla sellers are often at the mercy of suppliers to guarantee vanilla, but now blockchain is changing that story.

The recent buzz on the blockchain has been focused on everyday foods, such as green leafy vegetables, but many blockchain companies are discovering that there is also a premium food market. Jacob Ner-David, whose Israeli block company, VinX, is focused on wine, states that his company's blockchain is the exact opposite of Walmart's green operation.

Vineyards seen on a plateau of volcanic terrain on the Golan Heights in Israel. CREDIT: Esteban Alterman / Bloomberg News

Considering that green leafy vegetable growers will somehow anonymously exist on the blockchain until there is a problem, winemakers want to reveal everything. "Even if they are large wineries," he says, "they would like their unique identity to come out."

Ambrosus, a global blockchain company founded in 2016, has now created a blockchain for the monitoring of Madagascar vanilla for their client importer, Premium Goods. Premium Goods sells its vanilla to food professionals who are quite particular about their ingredients, a bit like Stella Parks. Angel Versetti, CEO of Ambrosus explains, "are the chefs of the best restaurants in Europe, they are the companies that produce expensive perfumes, and it is the great food producers who take the vanilla extract and then create an aroma to add to food. " Vanilla is a well-called aromatic lure, explains Parks.

For Versetti, vanilla is just the latest food product to test its blockchain. His company also works with pharmaceutical clients to track the transportation of vaccines that need to be stored at certain temperatures.

Versetti has never worked in the vanilla industry, but does not consider it an inconvenience. In fact, the traceable vanilla with blockchain is so popular that it is already sold out, it boasts Versetti. "Once people saw that they could have something that is not just about an empty promise or some sort of label, but actually they record pure data on the blockchain, the demand has increased a lot."

A sensor is located in a field of tomatoes at Wards Berry Farm in Sharon, Massachusetts. CREDIT: Photographer: Adam Glanzman / Bloomberg

VinX, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on the wine industry and its co-founder and CEO, Ner-David, is himself an oenologist in Israel. Fraud is a big problem for the upper end of the sector, where investors buy expensive bottles and trade in wine futures without even a taste test.

Doctors Ventures, a subsidiary of Overstock.com and a recent investor in VinX, is betting on the blockchain to provide certainty in this precarious and expensive niche market. So says Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures& # 39; S a long-awaited solution for wine buyers. "[Tracking] the origin of the wine is a big problem for the high end [investor]".

The winery has long relied on the art of storytelling to market its product, with abundant details on growing conditions, crops and oak barrels that act as a background for every expensive bottle. Blockchain can tell buyers the same story, but blockchain has an added feature: a built-in fact-checker. With the blockchain, buyers can verify that the history of their wine is founded on the truth.

While the wine industry still does not use the blockchain to reveal the conditions of the vineyards, this is certainly where it goes, says Ner-David, as many aspects of wine making are already digitized. "From my iPhone, I can tell what is the temperature of each barrel … the level of acidity [and] fermentation tanks ", he explains.

The challenge for early adopters of the blockchain in the wine industry will be the way they take the raw data and turn it into something meaningful to the buyer. This challenge will come soon, says Ner-David. "In terms of bringing people into the vineyard itself, we're going there. The story was written on the blockchain."

Creating a robust blockchain means putting tracking mechanisms as close as possible to the crop, says Versetti. In the Ambrosus blockchain, for example, the first step is to assign the unique identification number to the vanilla bundle.

Next, says Versetti, "register it at the blockchain [to say] we have just created a package of medicines or, in this case, a bundle of vanilla. "The asset is then checked and recorded at each stage of the process to make sure the conditions are correct.

Because moisture can spoil the vanilla, says Versetti, "[if] the humidity level rises, or some people intentionally increase … then the weight increases. "So the buyer ends up paying more for the soaked vanilla pods once the product reaches the end of the supply chain. , what& # 39; S left is what Versetti calls the "digital certificate of product life".

An Italian winemaker tries a glass of Prosecco wine for authenticity in a restaurant. CREDIT: Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico / Bloomberg

For blockchain companies like VinX and Ambrosus, the most interesting feature is the fact that the data, once inserted,S immutable and immutable. So, whether you're tracing the vanilla or a bottle of wine, the story of how that food was produced can not be rewritten. With a bit of luck, the added pressure should help producers make sure their vanilla really comes from Madagascar and their expensive Israeli Shirah has not been replaced with some mold & # 39; Two-Buck Chuck. & # 39; Blockchain can help trace these craft foods to their source to ensure themThey are only those that demanding consumers seek.

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