According to statistics, the world population might reach 9 Billion by 2050. And to feed such a large number of people, food production will have to increase by approximately 70%. Technology will play an integral role in making this a success.
In particular, AI in food industry is the key to unlocking food production now and in the future. Food and beverage companies are already adopting this technology to enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. The top brands in the industry use Artificial Intelligence to identify and maintain strong emotional connections with their audience.
In this article, we’ll highlight several applications of AI in the food industry
1. Sorting Food
Sorting food is the most time and energy-consuming process in any establishment. It involves grading products according to their specific details, such as size, color, and freshness. These factors are essential to help food companies make well-informed decisions on the food processes. This will help in increasing the sales of products.
TOMRA Sorting Food is one of the few companies in the food industry to take advantage of AI to improve food sorting. They have developed sensor-based systems that use cameras and near-infrared sensors to view food products based on human perception. In the end, this results in more saved time, higher yields, less waste, and higher food quality.
2. Development of New Products
What if there was a way for businesses to know beforehand what customers want? Then food manufacturers would only produce the required number of products as per the demand. That means saving more time, money, and resources; this would most certainly translate to less waste.
Fortunately, this is possible. AI and machine learning through food and beverage analytics allow companies to study consumer tastes and preferences and predict how these will change based on certain conditions. This information helps them come up with the best ideas to develop new products that best suit the tastes of their target audiences.
3. Supply Chain Management
The food industry can benefit from AI by closely monitoring all supply chain operations to minimize delays and increase profit margins. It also enables food companies to predict accurately better management of inventory and pricing of products.
Also, due to the continually increasing need for transparency, the food industry has been using artificial intelligence in food in the following ways to enhance efficiency in the supply chains.
Tracking products from the farms to the final consumers for transparency
Testing food products at every stage in the supply chain to ensure food safety
4. Minimizing Cost of Maintaining and Repairing Equipment
Everyone in the food industry knows repairing, cleaning, and general maintenance of processing machines costs a lot of time, energy, and resources. But research reveals that AI can significantly reduce the time and resources used to clean equipment through a system known as SOCIP (Self-Optimizing-Clear-In-Place). That includes water.
The technology uses ultrasonic sensing and optical fluorescence to assess the amount of food waste and microbial debris in the equipment to determine the ideal cleaning process. It also allows companies to regularly inspect their equipment to identify and repair any faults on time.
5. Improve market research methodologies
Knowing what food products to manufacture, or in the case of restaurants, what dishes to include in your menu is essential to generate more revenue.
Consumer needs and demands and the market dynamics are changing so fast, so staying one step ahead of the business competition is even more urgent. Identifying the most predominant tastes and preferences is a valuable asset for restaurants and food manufacturers.
Machine learning provides the best methods for collecting and classifying food data to deduce the food tech solutions that may dominate the food market in the near future. It allows players in the industry to understand consumer behavior and accurately predict what customers want before they do.
6. Personalized customer experiences through chatbots and voice searches
Customers like to feel appreciated and wanted as they shop, so creating a more customized shopping experience is crucial to keep them coming back for more. Firms need to get in touch with their customers’ thought processes and emotions to achieve that.
AI and ML allow food companies to use chatbots and voice assistants to exploit consumer shopping historical data to provide a hyper-personalized customer experience. They keep track of decisions customers make and their repeat purchases. That ensures that companies can provide their customers with a personalized feed that contains their favorite food options.