Food-safe microchips could be Canada’s answer to food traceability concerns

Survey by Italy’s Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium reveals Canadians’ thoughts on food security

TORONTO, June 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canadians overwhelmingly feel it is important to understand the ingredients they are putting in their body. This is according to a new survey by The Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano.

The food origins survey, an Angus Reid Study of 1504 Canadians, put a lens on how much people value food traceability, natural ingredients and feeling safe with what they are putting in their bodies. Overall, nine-in-ten Canadians (91%) feel it is important to understand the ingredients they are putting in their body. When asked about their food concerns, 84 per cent of Canadians feel concerned with where their food comes from. This concern increased with age.

Table: Canadians food habits (Q: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements)

It is important to understand the ingredients I am putting in my body91%90%93%89%90%94%
I am concerned about where my food comes from84%81%87%79%83%88%
I am a big advocate of farm-to-table foods79%78%79%75%77%82%

“We conducted this survey to get a benchmark on Canadians’ food habits and concerns,” said Nicola Bertinelli, president of the Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano. “Not only can we see that Canadians understand the importance of quality ingredients, but the results highlight their concerns about food safety.”

The study shows that Canadians value quality ingredients. Three quarters of Canadians (74%) are willing to pay more for quality foods. Despite the increase in organic, non-GMO, natural foods, only four-in-ten Canadians believe these claims.

Food traceability is increasing in concern for Canadians. 76 per cent are yearning to know where their food comes from and agree that being able to trace their food to its source makes them feel safer.

Table: Canadians’ food concerns (Q: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements)

I value quality foods and I’m willing to pay more for them74%76%71%78%72%72%
I believe food product claims (non-GMO, 100% natural, organic, etc.)40%38%42%41%34%44%
Being able to trace my food to its source makes me feel safer76%73%78%78%74%75%

Smaller than a grain of salt
New technology has the ability to deliver previously unseen levels of traceability, inventory tracking and control, product authentication, quality-assurance testing, product serialization, and consumer safety with innovative, food-safe digital tags.

To support Canadians’ desire for food safety and traceability, The Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano has partnered with Kaasmerk Matec (Kaasmerk) and p-Chip Corporation (p-Chip) to launch a line of food-safe and secure traceability digital labels for its Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheels.

Kaasmerk Matec and p-Chip Corporation partnered with The Consortium to complete this innovation program for a device integrated into a casein label on the rind of Parmigiano Reggiano. This creates a new industry-standard, food identification method. This scannable food tag is smaller than a grain of salt and highly durable, delivering next-generation visibility and allowing consumers to track their product from start to finish. 

“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 the Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano. “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.” 

Media Contact:
Megan Dunscombe
Account Manager, MAVERICK Public Relations
647-972-2373 | 

About the Food Origins Survey
These are the findings of a survey conducted by MAVERICK for The Consortium of Parmigiano Reggiano from May 24th to 26th, 2023 among a representative sample of 1,504 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium 
The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium is the protection body that includes all Parmigiano Reggiano producers, who process the milk from the farmers of the area of origin into this PDO cheese complying with the Specifications. It was set up in 1934 and has the purpose of protecting, defending and promoting the product, safeguarding its typicality and disseminating its knowledge worldwide. Every wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is given a mark of origin (the well-known “dots” and starting from 2002 also a “casein plate”). Furthermore, every wheel is quality tested at an age of about 12 months. Only if the wheel passes this test, it is branded with the selection mark (oval mark). The certification of conformity with the Specifications is given by the P-R Quality Control Body on behalf of the European Union and the Ministry. 

The Consortium represents all the producers at the most important institutional tables with the aim of protecting their interests. The Consortium also deals with the fight against Italian Sounding, focusing on the need to have greater protection of the PDO outside the European Union.