One-third of the total food produced is wasted according to the Food And Agriculture Association of the United Nations. It is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes and food scarcity is one of the major concerns globally. Isn’t it strange and funny?
Once this issue came into the spotlight, 10 world’s largest food concerns like Unilever and General Mills pledged to share the success of their programs related to the curbing of food waste.
Are you also facing the issue of excessive food wastage at your place? And looking for some innovative ideas to curb the food waste? In this blog we will be answering the following questions for every business operating in the food industry:
What is the best technology for curbing food waste?
What will happen if I do not follow a proper food wastage management process?
What can AI do for reducing food wastage?
What are the latest AI-Based applications available in the market which I can use for curbing food waste at my place?
Are there any conglomerates which are using these AI-based apps?
Companies all over the world are working on this issue after the United Nations told the world four years ago to half the total food wastage by 2030. There can be dire repercussions if this issue is not looked after immediately.
Harmful results of not curbing food waste
Food wastage has severe effects on the environment. If dumped in the landfill, it releases a greenhouse gas; methane. When the food degrades further it produces gases that are 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide being trapped in the atmosphere.
It results in global warming and nobody here is a kid to not understand how harmful it can be for climate change and ultimately for the planet Earth. Our resources require to be saved and food is an important resource for the survival of living beings.
What are the best ways for food waste management?
We are not in a very good state when it comes to food management even after a strict warning from the UN. According to last year’s World Bank report, the food waste will rise by 70 percent on current values by 2050.
The report said that this fact holds to be true only when there are no urgent steps taken immediately. In the past few years, various companies have started deploying Artificial Intelligence in the food industry to manage wastes.
Businesses in the food industry and artificial intelligence development companies are working in this area to curb food wastage. The innovative ways with the help of this technology have provided remarkable outcomes.
Role of Artificial Intelligence in Food Waste Management
Artificial intelligence is all about developing computer-based systems that work with the same intelligence as humans. According to the Research and markets (the world’s largest market research store), the growth of AI in food and beverages industry between 2019–2025 is forecasted to attain over 65.3 percent of CAGR.
Do you know how businesses and technologists are using Artificial Intelligence in food waste management? The trending technology of AI and its subsets like deep learning and machine learning are proficiently utilized in curbing food waste.
For instance, recently, an artificial intelligence bin is launched by a UK based startup — Winnow. This AI-bin uses a camera and smart scales to find the types of food that are being discarded. It is capable of reducing the food wastage by 50 percent and many businesses have availed this benefit. We will talk about this AI-Bin in detail later in this blog.
How AI helps in food waste management?
Artificial intelligence technology-based software applications are capable of performing tasks which were only confined to the human mind. Its subset, machine learning is also playing an important role in reducing food wastage.
ML works on vast data that helps in detecting types of food and their demands to manage them efficiently. These technologies are serving in unimaginable ways with various innovative tools.
Let’s discover the various ways in which AI is used in the food industry, their benefits and the companies incorporating them. Following are the top uses of artificial intelligence in food waste management:
Forecast food demandDetect the quality of the food sample Detect the food usually wasted
1. Artificial Intelligence in food waste management: Forecast food demand
A bad demand forecasting can lead to heavy wastage in food. This is happening in supermarkets every day. You must have noticed how many food items get wasted in retail stores.
To overcome this, the best mobile app development companies in India are using machine learning in the food industry. ML works on algorithms based on large data. The data of previously wasted and sold food can help in forecasting demand.
This will help the supermarkets to stock the exact required amount of food. It will avoid more or less availability of food. Last year the Japanese company Hitachi came into a partnership with a hospital to avoid food wastage.
The food not consumed by patients not only increases wastage but also poses harmful effects on their health. For this, they have mounted the camera on the trolleys which are used to collect the trays.
The camera clicks the pictures of leftovers. These photographs are later examined with the applications of deep learning (another subset of AI). This will help in identifying the patterns in leftovers which were not possible with the human mind alone.
2. Artificial Intelligence in food waste management: Detect food quality
Have you ever returned a low-quality food? We all have done this many times! The same ingredients could have been used to produce an optimum quality for consumption. But unfortunately, a lot of food samples are not matching the quality standards which leads to food wastage.
There is a company called Agshift which is based in the USA is using AI as a solution to this problem. They have their own food inspection system which is deploying the algorithms of deep learning.
The deep learning models developed by hired software developers are capable of analyzing the defects in the sample quality. Sample images used here are a base to find out the overall quality of the food sample.
3. Artificial Intelligence in food waste management: Detect the food usually wasted
The data of food that is thrown away most of the times can be an appropriate foundation to make new policies. It will help in reducing the supply of such food items. This collection is not possible with the help of human resources which brought the need for Artificial Intelligence in food safety.
“A third of all food is wasted. It’s an economic, environmental and moral imperative that we reduce waste and know how it’s being wasted. We believe we have developed the answer to solve this for the hospitality industry.” said Marc Zornes, the CEO of Winnow.
Here is a video of a TED talk by the CEO of winnow solutions. Have a look for a better understanding:
We discussed in brief about the AI-bin Winnow, let’s explore it some more. It is the first bin based on artificial intelligence technology to support the hospitality industry in its target of reducing food waste.
It has reduced food waste with machine learning algorithms. The smart scales, AI-guided smart meters, and camera are used with AI technology. The system has been programmed to identify the thrown food.
Whatever goes into the bin is not recorded anywhere. With the help of winnow vision, the companies can detect the food items that are discarded the most. Moreover, the AI-based bin is capable of calculating the environment and financial cost of the thrown items automatically.
The solution it provides are:
Improve food preparations methodsChange the menusBetter buying decisions
There are many companies that have applied the technology of this marvelous system of contemporary times. Here are the popular use cases and outcomes:
The first global chain of hotels that started using winnow systems is IHG resorts. Within six months, 50 percent of waste was reduced by IHG resorts through all the installations.23 stores of IKEA (food service organization) in the UK and Ireland has tested winnow and has successfully saved 1.6 million meals.
DVNutrition: Utilizing Artificial intelligence to transform its production process of Whey protein. The manufacturers, based in Dutch, make sure to deploy the best technology to reduce food waste. With the help of new algorithms, they are also planning to improve their protein quality.
Microsoft: Serving more than 40,000 meals a day, Puget sound campus of Microsoft is using AI technology to log the items headed for the compost pile. This helps in the constant management of the orders.
Artificial intelligence has made it possible for companies to reduce their food waste drastically. Its applications have allowed the food service organizations to become smart by forecasting the demand, detecting the quality and analyzing the thrown food.
Undoubtedly, artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the food industry of modern times. If you are also willing to contribute to the environment like Microsoft and IKEA, then hire our software development company to get an AI-based software developed for your business to curb food wastage.
Take a step further in making your business operations smart and healthy for society. You are most welcome to share your innovative ideas with us in the comment section. Let’s join hands to reduce food wastes. Always remember, there is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed!