Humanity has come as close as possible to cloning itself technologically using AI, but the global problem of hunger and the waste of food has not yet been resolved. But fortunately, AI solutions development can help with this if applied properly. SPD-Group decided to prepare a review and tell how AI technology can help buy, consume and produce food more rationally.
How Much Food Are We Wasting?
Unfortunately, the current trend is very sad. The rich are becoming richer, and the poor are becoming poorer. And by analogy, the one who is always full, allows himself to throw out food without remorse, and the one who did not know the feeling of satiety from birth loses this chance even more.
And these are not just words, these are studies. According to the research, the consumers from rich countries throw away as much food as the residents of the poorest countries of Africa produce.
And if you look at the issue globally, then about a third of all produced or grown products are thrown into the bins from year to year. And the most frightening thing is that the amount of wasted food will increase by 70% by 2050 if we do not take action today.
Is AI Really Able to Prevent Us from Food-Wasting?
Well, it’s quite difficult to answer clearly. Undoubtedly, experts and company owners have high hopes for AI when it comes to optimizing their business processes. If we talk about the problem of food ejection, then AI can help us find the underlying reasons why a certain type of product has become superfluous, emphasize general trends and form a holistic picture of what is happening.
And then, everything will depend on the rational thinking of the one who uses AI solutions for his business. But the correct use of information obtained using technology, of course, can several times reduce the amount of wasted food.
How AI in Food Solutions Are Used in the Industry
Perhaps this is just the case when using AI does not cause concern. Everything is transparent here. AI in food solutions help manufacturers gather strategically important data that, when used correctly, can help grow the business, meet customer demands and preserve the environment.
Obviously, it is much more reasonable to immediately remove a bad product from the assembly line than to deliver it to stores and offer customers who will either return it or throw it away. Therefore, AI systems created on machine learning with a visual recognition function are able to correlate every product that comes off the assembly line with a quality standard. And products that do not pass the test are sent for processing.
Supply Chain Improvements
Very often, huge batches of products end up in the trash just because they were not delivered from the manufacturer to the seller on time. This is a real disaster for perishable foods – fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. AI helps to develop new approaches for organizing product delivery from the manufacturer to the end user. At the same time, all possible data are taken into account – from the rate of decay of products to weather conditions, which hypothetically can affect the speed of delivery.
Predictive analytics is the strength of AI. And this helps food manufacturers to produce only those products that will be in greatest demand. For example, it makes sense to increase the amount of turkey meat before Thanksgiving. This is a fairly obvious example. But fortunately, AI can also capture and predict real-time trends that will help manufacturers reconsider their strategies in time and not face the situation of over-production and spoiled products as a result.
At the moment, the main function of AI in the context of Waste Management is that it helps to gather information about how many products are thrown out and what is their cost. Further, human intelligence’s responsibility begins. With this information, the owner of a grocery store, restaurant, cafe or even a mobile bakery can adapt his business strategy and refuse those products that most often end up in the trash.
AI in the Food Use-Cases
Here are some real-world AI applications that we just talked about.
In simple words, this device is a smart bin. It has a built-in camera, and sensors tied to machine learning algorithms. Each time the garbage gets inside, the bucket recognizes the type of product, estimates its weight, and translates the discarded amount of products into monetary value. Now, this device is used in restaurants in the UK, and it helps restaurant owners and chefs to plan their purchases and the institution’s menu more competently, trying to bring the amount of wasted food to zero. And here is some visual data on how much food are we wasting according to its types, and these make this solution even more demanded.
This is a product quality control system in production. Their goal is to prevent the return or throwing of products due to non-compliance with quality standards. The system works thanks to deep learning algorithms and is able to match the perfect food sample with each subsequent one and filter out products that have not passed the test.
Too Good to Go
This application has become very popular, although of course, its target audience is users who advocate for informed and reasonable consumption. The application helps retailers sell their surplus products at a bargain price, and users, accordingly, buy good food cheaply enough. At the same time, the quality of the products remains at a good level; these are not the products that should have been thrown away a week ago. The mission of the application is the promotion of conscious consumption and procurement.
What AI Solutions for Agriculture Are Capable of?
Globally, AI in agriculture helps grow better products with fewer resources. First of all, farmers receive an enormous amount of data about their farm – they can analyze weather conditions, assess the demand for a particular product and adjust their production strategies.
Moreover, AI improves the quality of the crop due to the fact that these systems are able to immediately recognize plant diseases, give recommendations on which plants need additional fertilizer, and help calculate the most optimal water supply (this is about water waste).
AI Solutions for Healthcare in the Food Consumed Context
Traditionally, when we talk about AI solutions for healthcare, we immediately recall smart prostheses and wearable devices that read our vital signs. But in fact, everything is much deeper.
Modern technologies help manufacturers to reconsider their views on product quality, and not only through the selection of samples that do not meet standards. There is a well-grounded opinion that AI solutions will help manufacturers feed all the inhabitants of the planet with quality products. The demand for high-quality products has grown over the past 30-40 years, as people began to live much better and got the opportunity to take care of their health, including by consuming healthy and high-quality food. Thus, improving food quality is the first step towards improving the health status of the world’s population. Since we can’t influence global external factors, we can at least avoid junk food, and with the help of AI as well.
Conclusion – How AI Solutions for Business Will Transform the Food Industry
Globally, AI is not only capable of changing approaches to the production, purchase, and consumption of food. AI can help achieve sustainable development of the planet and get closer to zero hunger through careful analysis of all data, maximum optimization of all processes of production and distribution of products, plus taking into account the ever-growing number of people on the Earth.