NEWS: Tracing your REAL Olive Oil


Italian olive oil producers are turning to near-field communication (NFC) tags to allow customers to authenticate purchases, as reported in Securing Industry. Producers from the Tuscany region will use tags supplied by ThinFilm Electronics in combination with a two-year-old app called iOlive that provides information and tracking for more than 150 extra virgin olive oils.

Earlier this year 7,000 tonnes of oil was seized by Italian authorities which was found to be a blend sourced from non-EU countries, even though it was claimed to be pure Tuscan.

Brands who will utilize tags in their product packaging include Buonamici, La Ranocchiaia, SPO, and Il Cavallino. In addition to allowing genuine oil to be authenticated, the combination of tags and app will also enable enhanced consumer engagement, and fuel online sales, say the companies. ThinFilm hopes to roll out the technology in other olive oil-producing countries.

The SpeedTap tags can be read with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone, and the company says each tag is uniquely identifiable and … virtually impossible to clone. Once tapped, the tag wirelessly communicates with the cloud, enabling brands to connect directly with their customers and instantly deliver authentication messaging, product information, and other relevant content.

Tuscan olive oil has a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) designation from the EU, and as a high quality product is generally expensive and so prone to adulteration with cheaper substitutes such as sunflower or canola oils. Over 267 oil adulteration incidents have been reported to the USA’s Pharmacopeia's Food Fraud Database, with the vast majority occurring over the past three years.