IBM has released details of a project working with candy giant Mars Inc. and the US government directed a studying the genetic code of cocoa trees. The overarching goal being to develop methods by which to safeguard the world’s chocolate supply. The group with use BlueGene, LLNL’s supercomputer, to sequence and analyze the entire cocoa genome. Apparently, political unrest and various plant diseases in Africa, home to 2/3 of the cocoa production, have driven up the prices nearly fifty percent in the past year.
Mars is trying to improve the reliability of the cocoa supply and IBM is looking for new ways to market its Blue Gene supercomputer power,” said Lora Cecere, an analyst for AMR Research in Boston. IBM can apply the same tools to other food staples falling short of demand, such as corn, she said.
From the recent problems in Africa’s cocoa production, the market will outpace supply by 29,000 tons this season. This seems to be a sticky situation.
For more info, read the full article here. [while I run to the store to buy some candy]