Weapons against waste: Predicting the shelf life of food
Stop throwing away food: for our wallets, for the millions of people who suffer from hunger and for the planet. Fortunately, many innovative ideas emerge every day to prevent food waste. And when we talk about prevention, science and technology are our allies. From applications like Too Good To Go to innovative initiatives, such as packaging that controls and regulates the pH of the food they store. Along the same lines there is an extremely valuable proposal from the National Centre for Food Security and Technology (CNTA).
Thanks to a project they recently developed, they found out that it is possible to anticipate food waste in order to gain time and be able to intervene before it is too late. How? Thanks to a technique based on infrared light, distributors or traders can detect potential bruises on fruits that are not visible to the naked eye. This way, it is possible to know the shelf life of the food and gain management time to reduce waste to a minimum.
This is how the final application will work: the storekeeper or distributor will take a photo of the food with a special camera and will receive information on his computer or mobile phone about the shelf life of the fruit. The research, which was supported by MAPA (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Spain), combines the use of a hyperspectral imaging camera with data processing. “Through the mathematical models that we have developed, we relate the photo with the data on the quality and shelf life of the fruit,” explains researcher María José Sáiz, doctor in Chemistry and head of New Analytical Applications of the I + D of the CNTA in an interview.
Can you imagine the tons of food we would save if we could predict its shelf life? If you are interested in learning more about the CNTA project, click here.