Editor’s note: This was contributed by Chew Wei Chun. He works at Y3 Technologies and is based in Shanghai and Singapore. He researches the applications of technology in China and you will often find him engaged in deep conversations about the tech innovations that China has adopted.

Food safety has haunted China over the decade, from the 2008 Chinese milk scandal where milk formula is adulterated with melamine to the 2014 tainted meat scandal when expired meat is supplied to fast-food joints such as KFC and McDonald’s. China’s size, population, and lack of regulations have made fake food an even more pervasive problem than in any other country. Despite the Chinese citizens being wary of it, many are still passive about the solutions.

The supply chain in the food industry is surprisingly complex and involves multiple transactions, processes, and transfers. Many areas can go wrong but predominantly most problems occur in two areas: food processing and distribution. In unregulated environments such as rural areas of China, unscrupulous suppliers are known to take shortcuts such as adding adulterants to be more cost-competitive and create more appealing products. The mishandling of food during distribution is another area of concern, including temperature discrepancies during transportation and poor hygiene practices. As such, Chinese food producers are adopting technological innovations to prove the value of their product and regain confidence among consumers.

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