DNA digitisation: traceable and authentic olive oil from field to bottle
DNAblockchain aims to connect DNA science with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to create a genetic barcode for every bottle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). The system works by incorporating the DNA profiles of the olive groves and the EVOO they produce in a blockchain system, ensuring full traceability from olive grove to shelf. The blockchain framework will also include geo-locus, yield, harvesting and milling time and other quality parameters.
The aim is to develop a fully transparent control system that safeguards the quality and value of EVOO, supports sustainable production and minimises the risk of food fraud.
DNAblockchain is easily tailored to user needs, making it suitable for all players in the olive oil industry, from small businesses to large corporate enterprises. Limited financial resources should not be an obstacle to adoption.
The project is a collaboration between BIOCOS IKE and InTTrust.
Six-month progress report
Novel biomarkers have been discovered for identifying EVOO varieties, and experimental protocols have been optimised to maximise the quantity and quality of extracted DNA. A ML/AI processing pipeline for DNA curves has been developed via high resolution melt analysis, providing accurate and automated classification of cv. Koroneiki, cv. Tsunati leaf and EVOO. Finally, the high-level design of features related to the EVOO supply chain has been completed, based on IBM’s blockchain platform. The remaining steps in the project are:
- Complete a ML/AI processing pipeline to detect admixtures of EVOO with other vegetable oils
- Finalise the blockchain features for the olive oil industry
Final report summary
During the project, DNA data were successfully processed and incorporated into a blockchain system, empowering EVOO authentication and traceability by connecting the content of a bottle to what is reported on the label. The project delivered a series of innovations, from novel genetic markers to an ML/AI post-processing pipeline for the classification of olive oil varieties using DNA data. Relevant information is safely stored in a blockchain scheme. Last but not least, the origin of a sample from the same variety but from two distinct regions of Crete (Chania and Rethymon) was determined using DNA data. The next step is to adapt and scale the technology, including DNA data from the novel marker, to distinguish 5 Greek varieties and cover around 80% of Greek EVOO production.
DNAblockchain aims to disrupt the olive oil industry by developing an ecosystem of progressive companies, wholesalers and local producer cooperatives willing to valorise EVOO, while attracting those consumers who seek a transparent and clean label. The long-term target is to deliver fundamental tool that assures the origin, integrity and quality of EVOO, adding value to local producers and promoting good agricultural practices.