REGGIO EMILIA, ITALY – The Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano (CFPR) announced it partnered with Kaasmerk Matec and p-Chip Corporation to launch a line of food-safe and secure traceability digital labels for its Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheels.

By implementing the new technology, CFPR stated it expects to achieve better than ever levels of inventory tracking and control, product authentication, quality-assurance testing, product serialization and consumer safety.

With the embedded p-Chip digital tracking labels, the CFPR is upgrading from a practice it used since 2002, applying a casein label with a unique and sequential alphanumeric code to each cheese wheel.

"Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the world's oldest and most famous cheeses, and it is a product that symbolizes Italian produce," said Nicola Bertinelli, president of CFPR. "Since the establishment of our consortium in 1934, we have worked to convey the value of our product globally and distinguish it from similar-sounding products on the market that do not meet our strict requirements for production and area of origin. By being the first to incorporate these secure digital labels onto our cheese wheels, we can continue to ensure consumer safety, bringing the traceability and the authentication of our products to meet industry 4.0 technological targets."

The new scannable food tag, developed by Kaasmerk and p-Chip, is smaller than a grain of salt.

"By integrating p-Chip micro transponders into casein tags, CFPR can better control its inventory, protect and differentiate its products against look and sound-alike brands and have access to unmatchable track-and-trace technology to protect itself in the case of recalls or other issues,” said Joe Wagner, chief executive officer of p-Chip Corporation.

CFPR announced it tested the technology extensively over the past two years, and it plans to use the innovative smart digital food labels on 100,000 bulk cheese wheels in the second quarter of 2022.

"For more than 100 years, we've worked with artisan cheese producers to deliver casein cheesemarks that provide an invaluable level of protection for their recipes, helping to safeguard the passion and craftsmanship they bring to production of their cheeses," said Winus Sloot, managing director of Kaasmerk. "We are pleased to collaborate with p-Chip to develop this smart digital label that will track and trace (CFPR’s) bulk cheeses from start to finish, providing additional protection to both CFPR and consumers, as the label is highly resistant to tampering."

CFPR stated the upcoming use of 100,000 p-Chip labels represents the final phase of its testing, and it will evaluate the possibility of using the technology for the entire production of Parmigiano Reggiano in the future.