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article imageReducing food waste through the Industrial Internet of Things

By Tim Sandle     Aug 25, 2017 in Food
World hunger is a major concern and one set to become ever more pressing as the world's population expands. Reducing food waste, through the use of connected technology, can help to address the problem.
According to John Fryer, who is senior director of industry solutions at Stratus Technologies, the Industrial Internet of Things holds the partial solution for reducing food waste. Where food waste is reduced, this can help to partly address the global problems of poverty and hunger. Fryer notes that around one a third of the crops produced annually going to waste worldwide. Drawing on research published in Environmental Science and Technology, the technologist notes that the world wastes enough calories to feed 1.9 billion more people. This is based on the minimum diet that the World Health Organization calculates is necessary for an adult to be healthy and satisfied.
Deploying the Industrial Internet of Things to analyze food supply chains, covering the spectrum from farm to fork, will enable policy makers to reduce waste and to feed this information back to each connected business along the supply chain. In turn, each business can feed data back to adjacent businesses. Reducing waste is not only a matter of social good; reducing waste boost economies as well.
Where the Industrial Internet of Things can assist with this task is through the use of sensor technologies and real-time data analytics to study food quality, timeliness of delivery, waste, spoilage and recalls. This analysis can lead to reduced food waste; it can also be used to limit recalls; address localized issues of food security; and improve overall food safety. For this to happen the data needs to be cloud based and each 'chain' (business entity) needs to be willing to share the data in a centralized area.
It is also likely that reducing waste through big data analytics will appeal to consumers of the businesses involved too. This notion reflects the changing trend whereby consumers, and other businesses, are starting to want direct links to the companies that manufacture the products (in this case food) and services they use. This trend is developed in the PricewaterhouseCoopers report "The Industrial Internet of Things."
More about Industrial Internet of Things, internet of things, Food supply, Food waste
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