IP or A Chip in Your Cheese

Parmigiano-Reggiano producers are seeking new ways to protect the market for the world-famous pasta topping. Their latest trick to beat counterfeiters is edible microchips. Italian producers of parmesan cheese have been fighting against imitations for years. Now, makers of Parmigiano-Reggiano, as the original parmesan cheese is officially called, are slapping the microchips on their 90-pound cheese wheels as part of an endless cat-and-mouse game between makers of authentic and fake products…

Parmigiano producers have called on police, food specialists and internet sleuths in their forever war to protect their wheels, which in some cases can cost more than €1,000. Parmigiano is so precious that for years producers also battled thieves who in the dead of night were stealing the wheels as they aged in warehouses.