How technology is driving the food industry
As we know, the food industry is a multifaceted, global chain of different businesses that fulfill most of the food consumed by the world's population. The word food industries comprise a range of industrial activities focused on the making, distribution, processing, conversion, preservation, transport, certification, and packaging of foodstuffs. Today's food industry has grown highly diversified, with manufacturing extending from small, traditional, family-run activities that are highly labor-intensive to large, capital-intensive, and highly mechanized industrial processes. Many food industries depend entirely on local farming, produce, etc.
Food production: Most of the food industry favors crops cultivated through traditional agricultural practices. Agriculture makes food, feeds products, fiber, and other desired products by growing certain plants and raising domesticated animals (livestock). On average, 83% of the food consumed by humans is produced using terrestrial agriculture. Other food sources include aquaculture and fishing.
Food processing: involves the practices and techniques used to transmute raw ingredients into food for human consumption. Food processing brings in clean, harvested, or slaughtered and butchered components and utilizes them to manufacture retail food products. There are numerous different ways in which food can be produced.
How technology plays a vital role in the production and processing of food?
The entirely functional food industry continues to be a crucial part of any modernized economy. Not only makes it provide countless jobs, but it also keeps us nurtured with food on our plates. Some impressive technologies are not only changing the food industry right now but will also have a significant impact in the future. As their use increases more widespread, the industry will adapt to be more innovative and more productive, with continued improvements worldwide. The food industry is actively grabbing up as it transitions to a connected, automated future to pick, pack, and produce food.
Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Robotics
The machines and robots are leveraged to enhance services in the food industry, further maintaining quality and efficiency at affordable costs. They often operate alongside human workers to expand or improve processes. They come with various unique benefits, such as much-improved protection for workers, rapid product output, and consistent, reliable quality.
Artificial intelligence and advanced robotics are two different technologies that are combined together. AI, and the data it analyzes, is used to control robots, enabling them to be more accurate, intelligent, and informed. Most robots that operate on their own are skilled at making only monotonous and indeed defined tasks. Yet, those robots become incredibly advanced when administered by data-based intelligence solutions like AI or machine learning. Launch something unique into the actions, and they’ll either find an error or fail.
Automating food production can get many advantages. The strength to replicate the look and product quality with the minimum use of ingredients increases line efficiencies leading to bottom-line profit and can conceivably boost sales. At the same time, developing the traceability of raw elements will give the added bonus of enhanced food safety.
Inside the food industry, primary packaging methods that require manipulating raw food into its initial wrapper are complex because of many essential products like pasta, sausages, tomatoes, cheese, potatoes, etc. Differ in size, shape, quality, weight, and texture, making it a difficult challenge for extremely automated robots to manipulate them at the needed line performances and still maintain the quality and integrity of the product.
Before the pandemic, people were much more mindful about the foods they consumed. They wanted to know about the source of their goods and whether they’ve been sourced using safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly methods. Rising attention to health is now a priority, and visibility is a must. The obstacle with such demands is that, until recently, there haven’t been many solutions for increased visibility within the food supply chain. Blockchain technology is the solution, giving precisely the kind of clarity, efficiency, controls, and collaboration that consumers need.
Blockchain is a digital record of a particular data set. The data that gets in is added to something called a block, and as more is further added, it is mounted to the end of that block to create a long, linked record. Every bit of information is visible across the entire chain, hence the name blockchain.
Technological implementations that are in progress
Drones and automated delivery vehicles - Drones have been proposed to rapidly deliver prepared foods. Automated delivery vehicles refers typically to transport systems that move without the intervention of a human driver.
3-D printing for edible goods - 3-D printing on edible goods helps use leftovers like old bread and leftover vegetables to create new products. Food printing can help reduce food waste.
Smart Forming - "Smart farming" is an emerging idea that applies to managing farms using technologies like IoT, robotics, drones, and AI to enhance the quantity and quality of products while optimizing the human labor required by production.
High-tech packaging - There will be a shift apart from mass production and more towards innovative and specialized food packaging to assist specified products and services among new technological advances.