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5 Technological Innovations for Food Waste Reduction

Peter Johnson, IT/IS Manager, Anheuser-Busch

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Technologies can track and reduce food waste reduction by focusing on visibility and making smart decisions.

Food waste costs a huge amount every year. Due to panic shopping and increased food deliveries, household food waste has grown by roughly one-third during the COVID-19 lockdown. Bread, milk, chicken, and potatoes are the most commonly discarded foods in the UK.

Due to erratic ordering habits, over half of the eateries discard most of their food waste into the trash. On the other hand, new technologies are being created all over the world that can help reduce waste at all stages of the supply chain by focusing on visibility and making smart decisions.

Some technologies to track and reduce food wastage are:

Monitoring software for food transport and storage

Inefficient transportation methods and distribution delays result in enormous waste, particularly for perishable goods. The device has the potential to save up to 240 billion pounds in food waste in supply networks. Intelligent routing systems, for example, might calculate the most economical routes for food trucks to take to their destinations while also tracking each vehicle as it moves.

Software for freshness monitoring

The program can assist food providers and retailers in making informed decisions on food freshness and whether to discard items. These tools require some human input from the user, after which they employ a smart scale to weigh and code food waste, and then they recommend reduction measures.

Monitoring food containers with IoT

When it comes to monitoring the temperature and freshness of fruit transported, the internet of things (IoT) offers a lot of uses. Maersk Line, for example, has created Remote Container Management software that allows enterprises to track the temperature in refrigerated containers in real-time.

Data sharing for collaborative efforts

At each stage of the food supply chain, technology can assist in sharing timely inputs and thereby responding to delays or crises that could otherwise result in food waste and shortages. On a digital supply chain that is updated in real-time, data on current inventories, demand forecasting, storage space requirements, location tracking for food trucks, and product perishability can be made available.

Using imagery to make rapid and efficient decisions

Food sellers can use technology to determine the freshness of the product without cutting it open or guess. For example, AgShift's mobile app checks produce for bruising, colour, size, and freshness using deep learning. In contrast, ImpactVision uses hyperspectral photography to determine the amount of dry matter in avocados and their maturity using deep learning.

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