Protecting Milk Powder in China

Walimai is a startup that has developed a specialized label, using RFID and linked to blockchain technology, that can be scanned with a smartphone app for consumers to authenticate their products.

A startup firm in China is using blockchain and RFID to take aim at counterfeits in the milk powder supply chain, according to Business Insider Singapore.

The startup, Walimai, is spearheaded by two consultants based in China, Alexander Busarov and Yaroslav Belinskiy. They have developed a specialized label that can be scanned with a smartphone app for consumers to authenticate their products. Busarov can be seen demonstrating the technology here. The label is designed to withstand the rigors of transportation through the supply chain.

China has had issues with the authenticity of milk powder in the past. As Securing Industry reports, in 2008, adulterated milk products containing melamine caused 52,000 hospitalizations and at least six deaths, with an estimated 300,000 children poisoned. In April 2016, nine people were arrested in China for selling counterfeit baby formula under the Similac and Beingmate brands.

Better regulation of milk powder is one of the Chinese Food and Drug Administration’s priorities.

Busarov explains that Walimai’s labels cannot be counterfeited, as encrypted RFIDs and QR codes can, “through dynamic codes, which can update data on both the chips and on the backend system,” notes Business Insider.

Busarov and Belinskiy have been personally affected by counterfeit products in China, having been poisoned by fake whiskey purchased from a large chain store for their own startup’s celebration.

The founders are focusing on Walimai’s growth in China, but have received requests from other countries and industries, including medical devices in Europe and health foods in the United States.

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