In the world food waste is rising due to increasing cases of food recalls from the market after consumers reports. The Food Standard Agency reported that in the UK market alone, for example, from 2011 to 2020 the number of recalls increased from 67 to 109.
These recalls have a very high cost for society and the environment: in addition to the ecological impact, they produce a huge waste of food. The recalled products often risk being discarded and never return to the market due to deadlines that force you to throw away entire batches even of foods that were not contaminated.
One of the reasons why food waste is such a huge problem is that it can occur throughout the whole production process, in each of its stages:
– Agricultural production: losses due to spillage, poor crop harvest, animal disease, production of “ugly food “, perfectly edible food that does not meet the cosmetic standards of its market.
– Post-harvest handling and storage: inappropriate transportation and storage facilities can cause food to become damaged or spoiled due to poor preservation.
– Processing: spillage during washing, peeling, slicing, and slaughtering of meat.
– Distribution: food that is never sold for a variety of different reason
– Consumption: food wasted by individuals at a household level, often a result of buying more than needed.
According to a FAO report, there are 800 million people in the world suffering from hunger and they are constantly growing, a terrible figure but which can be reversed by reducing food waste.
What can technology do?
Inspection technologies are the ultimate solution to avoid worsening the situation. Around the world 1.7 billion euros have been invested in the Food Safety sector and the trend shows that food safety and sustainability are increasingly central in today’s world. More and more new innovative technologies are applied to food inspection systems. We hear more and more of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to improve the quality and traceability of in line controls.
A lot of companies started to develop new futuristic solutions overcoming the actual systems available in the market to definitively erase food waste and reach the ambitious zero hunger goal set by the UN.
Xnext represents an exemplary case of this field. Since 2016 it is the first company in the world to introduce artificial intelligence software based on neural networks inside x-ray machinery for food inspections.
The AI software is the perfect integration for our hardware composed of photonics and nuclear electronics. All the three elements provide a unique efficient solution that detect a great variety of low density foreign bodies in food before it is placed on the market.
Our technology is gaining the trust of large Italian, European and world food producers, a sign that this idea born from the mind of two aerospace engineers can lead the way for the future of Food Safety.