NANJING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Renowned for producing China's best freshwater crabs, Yangcheng Lake in eastern China's Jiangsu Province introduced intelligent logistics and blockchain technology this year to ensure freshness and authenticity of the autumn delicacy.
It is century-long custom for Chinese to eat crabs in autumn when the meat is at its best, especially during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which fell on Sept. 24 this year, and National Day holidays from Oct. 1 to 7.
At the size of a human palm, the crabs bred in Yangcheng Lake are so rich in protein and amino acids and so delicious, they are just labelled as Yangcheng Lake Crabs and gain nationwide popularity.
Thanks to the cold chain logistics, customers in 173 cities nationwide can now savor the fresh taste of the crabs in one or two days.
"Fresh boxes and the cold chain transport have been widely applied in the industry. As soon as we catch the crabs, they are packed up and delivered to customers via the effective cold logistic network," said Bian Nong, vice president of Suning.com, one of the farmers' retail partners.
Customers can also scan the code on the products to verify their authenticity and get all the information they need.
The complete traceability and anti-counterfeiting system allow buyers to track back to all the industrial procedures including production, processing, transportation, distribution and retail.
This year's crab output from the lake is estimated at around 1,300 tonnes, nearly 200 tonnes fewer than last year. However, due to the reduction of the crab farming area to ensure the water quality, the crabs will be much bigger with better flavor.
Inspection results on Sept. 19 showed that the average weight of crabs increased 4.8 percent for male and 8.6 percent for female, according to Lu Zhirong, deputy director of Suzhou Agricultural Commission.
At one of the breeding bases in the city of Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, crabs were fed with deep-sea fish and raised in ponds with strict quality control and abundant oxygen supplies.
The local agricultural department sends experts every year to train farmers to better apply ecological culture in the breeding process and to conduct quality tests, Lu said.