Traceability in food/beverage processing

Hi! I want to use Obsidian for traceability at my new winery.

With all the linking abilities, Obsidian would be a big update from traditional tracking on excel and a million tabs!

A bit about what I would need to do: After the grapes are crushed, I need to know the tank number they’re in and any movements to another tank, additives, lab analysis, record the lot number…

Does anyone already use (or tried to use) obsidian for something similar? How did you approach it? And did it work? I just don’t know where to start!
Thanks for the help!
P.S. Is this even the right category for this post?

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That’s a great concept! Yes, this would be the correct category

For one, each file could have something like this

tags: wine

# tankNumber

## Lab Analysis Results

### Isotope Ratios (example)

### Composition Molecules (example)

# Extra Notes

Make sure to download the Dataview Plugin

And put a dataview query on a root file,

TABLE date as "Production Date", tank as "Tank Number",  lab as "Lab Number", lot as "Lot Number"
FROM #wine

This is more so a proof of concept because I have some pressing questions. How big is your winery? Are you a professional/commercial winery? Will you need to format? (bold, italic, highlight, add headings) Do you have any workers, if so, how many?

These are important questions to determine whether Obsidian may or may not be the best way of product tracking. Depending on the size of your winery, there may be too much information to manage and query in a timely manner

In addition, Obsidian is a note taking app. Dataview and management is possible. But, its not the best software to do so.

When studying cybersecurity, one of the first things you learn is the CIA triad. It stands for Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.

Using plugins is risky and it does hinder the confidentiality of Obsidian. However, would this be sensitive data? If not, its okay to be a bit more lax. However, confidentiality should always be on your mind. Obsidian is not encrypted. Would you and your winery be affected if a plugin developer goes rouge and decides to harvest your data? If so, I don’t recommend Obsidian

Now, there’s integrity. Can you be sure that your data is yours and unmodified? Will your data have consistent accuracy and security? Are there any dangers of a middle man attack? If you’re keeping everything local, your integrity improves. But that means you can only share things manually (an issue for a company or group.) In addition, if you don’t know programming, it may be difficult to ensure a plugin isn’t malicious. Even in a non-malicious manner, Dataview might face a bug that incorrectly displays your data

There is, again, zero built-in encryption

Then there’s availability. Can you access your quickly data whenever necessary? Are there any reliable backups of your data? Are you safe from data loss?

You have to keep app load times in mind, which will get longer and longer as your vault size increases to drastic amounts. There is built in recovery! But, a full backup would require manual action or another plugin.

Obsidian is more-so for note taking. Of course, it can be used for data viewing. But I recommend professional food traceability programs like Safefood 360, Icicle ERP, or general ERP software (examples here).


Hi! Thank you so much for the reply! I will try to play around with the dataview plugin, and see if it works for my needs.

And also thank you for the advice and thoughtful concerns. Honestly, I don’t have any security concerns since this data is not sensitive in any way. The only issue I see is data loss, but I can deal with that I think.

It is a commercial winery, but really small scale. I only have 12 tanks to manage and a single lonely barrel, that’s why I’m looking for simple alternatives to specialised software Plus, only my boyfriend and I will be working on the winery, no workers just yet.

I want to make Obsidian work since I feel comfortable working with it and helps me stay organised. For sure once the operations become bigger/more complex I will need to find a more permanent solution, but until then I will try to make either Obsidian or Excel work.
While there are specialised winery management programs out there, they’re tailored to much bigger wineries and work with a monthly subscription, so it makes it really expensive for me, since it’s something I will use about two weeks per year…

Thanks again for your reply!

I’m not even sure if you need DataView. It sounds to me like you could get away with a note for each lot of grapes that would serve as a log, perhaps with a summary area at the top. You could link to notes about the tanks etc. if that’s helpful. A homepage note could link to all of the current lots and anything else that’s useful. And you might want to setup some templates if there is any kind of repetitive entry.

I’d at least start minimal, and if you find you need more you can get fancier.

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