Italy’s Finest Cheese…
Preserved with Data
Parmesan cheese has been made from the same ingredients for 1,000 years. The chief instrument for quality control has always been a hammer. But now Italy’s cheese masters are adding data analytics to improve quality, help battle fraud and to protect vulnerable brand. Here’s how new technology is changing the way cheese is made in the old world.
Each wheel of Parmigian Regiano is stamped with a unique ID number that contains data about creation date and location plus the source of ingredients.
The wheels are scanned and logged into a certain database, providing up-to-the-minute production volume and inventory data for all members of the consorzio del Parmigiano Regiano
In 2014, the consortium logged data on roughly 3.3 million cheese wheels from 350 dairies with a retail value of $2.6 billion.
After a year of aging, wheels are inspected with a special hammer. Those that fail are discarded or sold as cheap, grated cheese. The ID numbers enable cheese makers to gather intelligence on failed cheese and to avoid future mistakes.
The wheels that pass inspection are now trackable. Whether they’re destined for further aging or bound for store shelves worldwide.