Parmesan cheese is controversial.

Parmigiano Reggiano, known as the “King of Cheeses,” is so prized that it has inspired a counterfeit market. Sales of Parmigiano Reggiano hit $2.44 billion euros ($2.63 billion) in 2019, as estimated by the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium, a trade group founded in 1934 and comprised of producers from the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantova and Bologna, who work to defend and protect the authenticity of the cheese. The counterfeit Parmigiano Reggiano market is worth $2 billion euros ($2.14 billion)—almost as much as the real market. The consortium is hoping to help curb cheese fraud. Later this year tracking chips, no bigger than a grain of rice, will be embedded in 100,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano. Currently an experiment, the consortium said it will determine whether to make adding this technology a permanent part of the cheese’s production. The idea is that the device will allow the consortium to better control its inventory and differentiate its cheeses from the fakes. Specifically, the chip will be inserted in the casein label, located on the rind.