Blockchain is the new buzzword. The underlying mesh behind cryptocurrencies, digital contracts, and much more is about to change health and safety management as we know it. Contrary to popular belief, the emergence of blockchain is not a recent development. In fact, we have been both gathering and processing data on various scales—it’s only recently that the bridges between various systems have been digitally constructed.
Dubai sets itself apart from the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council by embracing the solutions of tomorrow’s food quality and safety challenges today. Up until the announcement of embracing blockchain and big data, Dubai’s and the rest of the United Arab Emirates’ food quality and safety systems heavily relied on conventional paper-based records and monitoring procedures. Compared to the rest of the world, Dubai’s food safety management systems are predominantly Codex based with adaptations from the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Food safety in Dubai and the rest of U.A.E made its presence felt during the mid-90’s. Since then, it has continuously improved and adapted thanks to the amalgamation of various food cultures.
So why blockchain and what does that mean for food quality and safety in Dubai?
As Walmart, Nestle, Tyson, and others have recently illustrated, blockchain has the ability to peel away the layers behind an intricate and complex web of food suppliers, which further encourages transparency and door-to-door traceability. The fascinating realization is that the foundation to see this materialize in not just Dubai, but elsewhere as well, is quite possible thanks to smart devices. Every smart device comes with its users’ data that can be analogous to an amino acid of a protein molecule. How these “amino acids” link themselves in turn affect the nature of the “protein” or the web of digital information. Take for instance, Uber Eats, Netflix, or even Amazon—the recommendations they offer you are based on your purchasing patterns that vary from time of purchase, to products browsed, seasons, and even your location(s).
The Dubai International Food Safety Conference 2017, which is scheduled to run from November 19 to 21, will be the new launch pad for digital food quality and safety management systems. The aim is to digitalize food safety management and link them to nutritional information, restaurant audit scores, food poisoning and/or fraud investigations, and tourism.
From just a few clicks, a visitor can pick and choose dining options based on the menu, nutritional information, ingredients’ country of origin, and food inspection scores. Think of it as a combination of TripAdvisor, Menu Planning and Analysis, and Health and Safety regulatory authorities, to name a few elements.
This goes to show that blockchain has unlocked a plethora of possibilities and the future is unfolding before our very eyes.