New sensors that improve the quality of fresh produce and reduce waste
By the end of 2024, we will have developed Sensors (hardware) and Digital Twins (software) that will monitor the quality of fresh produce (fruits, vegetables and meats) in real time throughout its life span. This ensures that the highest possible quality product will be on the shelves, and ultimately on your plate. And results in as little food waste as possible. Nowadays, many products are thrown away because the quality is insufficient, or because it is thought that the quality is insufficient due to poor measurements.
To truly improve the quality of fresh produce and reduce food waste, you need real-time access to supply conditions and product information at every stage of the supply and production chain. But how do you achieve this?
A unique solution for monitoring products
Foodvalley NL is a knowledge dissemination partner of a public-private partnership project to improve quality of fresh produce and reduce loss and waste in the food supply chain. This project called “Future sensors and digital twins to improve perishable food quality during distribution and production“ results in the development of sensors and digital twins that will monitor the quality of fresh produce (fruits, vegetables and meats) in real time throughout its life span.
To make this project a success, we need advanced IoT sensor systems to monitor products in the supply chain. Also, we need real-time data access and data integration to get a full picture of what is happening in the supply chain. And finally, we need relevant models that enable predictions of product characteristics at any point in the product's life span. These are the ingredients for a digital copy, or also called a digital twin, of the product that is constantly updated. The digital twin enables simulation of future behavior in different scenarios, thus enabling chain actors to make optimal decisions at any point in time.
In this project, two prototypes of digital twins with three use cases are implemented. One focuses on the long transportation and quality of tropical fruits, and on determining the quality of vegetables such as tomatoes. This is done non-destructively, for example, there is no need to drill into tomatoes. The other digital twin will be used in the meat production chain. Here, the emphasis lies on individual quality monitoring of carcasses throughout the whole supply chain (transport, storage etc.). Currently, these technologies are hardly used in agrifood.
A promising project
This project is a close collaboration between system and data integrators, sensor developers, use case partners and research institutes Wageningen Research and imec as part of their collaboration in OnePlanet.
The project is a promising project with an outcome that reduces food waste, increases product quality, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the profitability of the food chains. The project also contributes to the MMIP goal of demonstrating how digital transformation can occur in practice and the benefits it brings. The use of the innovative sensor systems and digital twins results in better quality control that enables more efficient food chains with better matching of supply and demand. That means higher quality food products and less food loss and waste!