EthiChain, an EITFood project, is developing a portable device that in just one hour will be able to identify animal DNA in contaminated “vegan” products. EthiChain hopes its ethical food authentication system will increase trust in the European food supply system and stop food fraud.
The complexity of most food supply chains makes them extremely vulnerable to food fraud, meaning some consumers in the vegan community may have food trust issues. In this context, the EIT Food-funded EthiChain highlights how transparency and proper communication of this transparency to the consumer are crucial.
Also to be used for religious requirement foods such as halal and kosher, EthiChain is currently working on rapid and portable DNA analysis devices that do not require specialized personnel and will be suitable for routine analysis in the food industry and in distribution chains. Results will be automatically digitized in the company’s traceability system and accessible to the entire food chain involved.
The startup is aiming for commercialization of the devices in 2023 and is currently based at the AZTI scientific and technological center in the Basque country, with partners in the project including ART21 from Lithuania, SwissDeCode from Switzerland, and the University of Bologna.