From food safety to smarter beer, here’s 10 ways the Internet of Things is impacting our lives and the food industry.
1. Makes your food safer
The Internet of Things helps ensure higher levels of food safety, traceability and consequently, accountability throughout the farm-to-plate supply chain. Many also expect the IoT to impact the manufacturing process through improved production quality and inventory management techniques.
2. Talk to your fridge
Real-time tracking has become faster by using storage that automatically indicate when they need to be replenished and trigger for materials to be retrieved. Imagine a smart fridge whose optical scanner alerts you about a spinach recall.
3. Fruit just as fresh as you
Food supply chain systems are in place to continually monitor a company’s products. For example, everyone in a beef supply chain will know the temperature and condition of the next shipment before and after it reaches its end-point. If their fruits or vegetables reach the grocery store bruised or rotten, they’ll be able to look back through the data logs to see what went wrong — or who’s to blame.
4. Optimised production processes
Sensors continuously check for colour and specks during flour production which helps in rectifying them immediately. Sensors measure the moisture content together with ash or protein content and enable optimisation of production process in real-time.
5. Track location from origin to destination (and everything in between)
With GPS tracking and fleet management software that use big data to track and manage customers’ valuable assets, supermarkets can have total confidence that everyone at their organisation and throughout their supply chain is working to the correct requirements. This alignment ultimately reduces costly rejection and wastage, which in turn limits the risk of unfit produce reaching the shelves. Using data from devices, companies can get full end-to-end insight into their supply chains to optimise operations as well as provide more insight for audit and compliance over time.
6. Step into a world of insights
Sensors permit information gathering across the full value chain of a company, from production to transport to processing. This information gathering provides better insights along each step of the value chain as well complete information on food safety, which according to the users was not possible before. As it’s all happening in real time, if there is a problem on a unit the company is alerted right away.
7. Address critical issues faster
Running out of stock without realising it? Well, with IoT technology a company would know it right away. IoT food safety applications can advance RFID tracking, over time, by incorporating data from other sources such as temperature sensors and high-end sensors using photoacoustic spectroscopy. The best way for a company to be permanently up to date with what is going on in its business.
8. IoT sensors to help farmers
Farmers can collect data directly from their production which allow them to tell us easily how and where it was grown, cooked, or processed to how it can or should be consumed. A top-down approach may be employed here. For instance, food packagers could provide location-aware bags and boxes to the farms they work with.
9. Digitise food
From precision agriculture to precision health, we can start to build and connect the knowledge bases that, once we have in place, permit us to apply all kinds of machine learning and artificial intelligence to food, agriculture, and health. From predicting optimal crops to plant, and most appropriate cultivation techniques, to suggesting foods for consumers that increase health and delight while meeting their personal ethical and religious standards.
10. Robot Bartenders
With flavour alone, we’ve got folks who have built a wine wheel, a chocolate wheel, a coffee wheel and a beer wheel to describe flavour profiles that exist. The objective? Connect all these wheels to an information superhighway for food. Standard BeerXML is used by craft brewers to share recipes and enable automated beer-making appliances like Minibrew.