Publicado em June 3, 2022

BLOCKCHAIN AND INDUSTRY 4.0: Applications in the wine and chocolate industries.

Blockchain is a digital technological architecture that is in an advanced stage of use and application coverage.

Not only private companies and national governments but also international entities have expressed themselves about this technology. In fact, although it is digital technology par excellence, its most relevant uses are related to innovation in business models!

In Industry 4.0, its most relevant uses relate to production and supply chains, also dealing with topics such as digital identity, decision automation, etc.

Blockchain Definition

Technically it is a database that maintains a distributed ledger that can be openly inspected by the system/business participants.

Como Negócios is a network for moving transactions between participants, moving tangible, intangible and digital assets between peers (peer-to-peer system), without the assistance of a centralizing element or a third party validator of transactions.

From a reliability point of view, transactions are encrypted and validated, following consensus rules.

Using the BLOCKCHAIN ​​architecture, it is possible to create different and innovative applications.

Traceability and immutability are essential features of Blockchain. Once the transaction is carried out in the block, there will be no change. Updates take place through the creation of new transactions, which will point to the previous one and indicate the update.

With immutable data, the integrity of the data and its irreversibility are guaranteed.

Being peer-to-peer, Blockchain uses the concept of distributed computing, reducing costs and increasing the speed of processes (1).

Blockchain: Closed Ecosystems

Blockchain appears in 2009 as a support of BITCOIN, in open networks. In 2014, ETHEREUM is launched, with the concept of “smart contracts”, greatly expanding the scope of use of Blockchain.

The use of Blockchain in specific businesses, such as in production and supply chains, digital document identity, food fraud prevention, distributed finance, etc.

Blockchain is now used as an element that integrates data and logic between different participants in the same ecosystem.

Hyperledger, Linux Foundation.

There are several vendors of Blockchain architecture.

Also in 2015, the Linux Foundation launches an open-source, business-oriented blockchain. In 2018, it releases an explanatory document of the set (2).

IBM was one of the first companies to engage in the project, developing a version of Hyperledger called Hyperledger Fabric, which includes specific layers of security, possibility of use in hybrid clouds, use in specific servers, layers of automation of routine development, etc.

Blockchain in the Wine Industry

An example of the cycle of processes that, starting from the grape, lead to the wine presents the following steps (3):

Grape production, harvesting, destemming, crushing, first fermentation, pressing, second fermentation, batch analysis, collage, maturation, filtration and bottling.

Grape production requires soil and climate control, air humidity, etc. When harvesting, care is taken for the fungi, composition of sugars, acids, etc. In the destemming stage, it is about the quality of the bunches; during crushing, there is a need to record the techniques used. In the first fermentation stage, there is a record of the addition of enzymes, the control and recording of fermentation temperatures, etc. During the pressing time, the appropriate controls, the techniques used, etc., are recorded.

Further on, in the maturation stage, there will be strict control of temperatures, routine records, etc. At bottling, there will be control of bottle aging, its individual records, labeling, control of the pattern of the corks, etc.

These are just a few references that aim to indicate the use of Blockchain for immutable data recording, also allowing the system to operate if some functions are automated, as in the case of controlling the appropriate temperature ranges, triggering alarms or turning on/off equipment so that temperature limits do not fall outside the permitted tolerances.

At the consumption end, after all the stages of supplying the market, local or international, we will have on the Blockchain all the registration and tracking of the bottle, from the origin, through the entire production, movement of the bottles to the final destination, whether in retail or at the end consumer's home, depending on the design of the management and control system for production and supply chains.

Everledger – the first bottle of wine with blockchain-secured records

It is reported that the first bottle of wine with records guaranteed by Blockchain was a Margaux 2001 wine, certified by Chai Wine Vault, using the Everledger company's system using the Linux Foundation's Blockchain system, Hyperlegder Fabric. Strict control rules were followed, with the registration of more than 90 items related to wine production (13). The bottle's QR Code allowed access to data recorded immutably in the Blockchain environment.

Blockchain in chocolate production

The Expected Benefits of a Successfully Implemented Blockchain Network enables users to obtain the following benefits (4):

. Combating fraud and parallel markets;

. Real-time traceability;

. Protection of data stored in the ledger;

. Possibility of making supply chain processes more efficient;

. Possibility of proving the ethical and environmental behavior of companies;

. Improved replenishment planning activity;

. Creating a loyal relationship with customers.

According to FAO data, in 2016 the main cacsau producing countries were:

The main countries for buying cocoa were the Netherlands, the United States of America, Malaysia, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, etc.

There is then an international circulation of the product.

In the production of chocolate, there is another essential raw material: milk, which uses other paths, from the removal of milk on the farms.

A study carried out in 2018 (5) shows the following chocolate production and supply chain:

With the support of a Blockchain network, it is possible to control the cocoa production chain (items 5 and 7 - lower part of the drawing) and also the milk production chain (items 5 and 6 - upper part of the drawing). In a certain link of the chains, the raw materials are found (item 4).

From this point on, the process continues producing chocolate. At the end, each chocolate bar receives a QR Code that is stamped on the packaging. Each link in the chain points to the following links, according to the concept of block formation with records in double matches. There is encryption of each record that will contain the data chosen by the system designers.


(*) Text generated from classes given in November 2020, course on Industry 4.0 – Rafaela University, Argentina and Vanzolini Foundation, Brazil



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About the author

Antonio Limongi França

Antonio Limongi França

Pesquisador e Consultor

e-mail: antonio.limongi@hx8.com.br

Consultor – Empresa LF1 Inovação
Parceiro de Negócios - IBM/INGRAM
Co-Criador da Criptomoeda ECOCHAIN Moeda Verde
Pesquisador e Professor - Grupos “Smart Cities” – Departamento de Engenharia de Produção – PRO/Poli/USP/F. Vanzolini e Gestão do Conhecimento/Redes de Cooperação – PRO/Poli/USP
Pós-doutor - Departamento de Engenharia de Produção–Poli/USP – Blockchain e Negócios de impacto social
Doutor em Inovação e em Estratégias Organizacionais - UNINOVE
Mestre em Direito Econômico – Mackenzie
MBA - Branding - FIRP/BRUNEL (UK)
Graduado em Direito (USP)
Graduado em Administração (S. Leopoldo, Santos)
Associado da I2AI, Grupo Inovação e IA

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