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Can The Food Processing Industry Grow Better With IoT?

Kevin Lobo, FB Tech Review | Wednesday, January 13, 2021

IoT devices can take care of the entire host of operational and quality-control methods for the food processor, along with the volume of different food items being processed, its temperature, pressure levels, and the labels too.

FREMONT, CA: The latest applications that are leveraging IoT technologies have been showing promising features in the field of food safety and processing facilities. With such established technologies, the industry can track the products along the supply chain to utilize the sensors to monitor the condition of food as well as provide warnings for the food safety hazards.

IoT-enabled Wearables:

Multiple employees handle the food item before the packaging as well as during and after processing, which might have been in contact with raw foodstuffs, ending up with potential contaminants. Any form of hygiene issue needs to be dealt with instantly to stay away from the contamination of food items, recalls, loss of revenue, and harm to brand reputation.

With the advent of IoT-enabled technologies in the form of wearables and healthcare systems, employee health can be tracked and monitored in real-time. It allows the employees to monitor their health and share confirmed data with the company to become completely eligible for the work without any residues of viruses or bacteria.

The food and beverage factories have installed body temperature-monitoring technologies combined with facial recognition and other biometric identification that helps them to identify the indicators of illness like high temperature automatically.

Furthermore, the IoT-enabled wearables like smartwatches, smart-gloves, and smart glasses have augmented reality instilled in them, which allows them to help in the food processing industry, to enhance work processes, productivity, and food safety.

Nevertheless, for successful working and adaptation of these technologies, the potential challenges concerning data privacy, employee motivation, and security problems need to be tackled first. Data collected from IoT devices for such purposes might be sensitive and requires treatment with the highest degree of discretion.

Hyperspectral Imaging:

Several food scandals have come to the surface due to the use of illegal or unsuitable ingredients in food products, purchased by the consumers. False meat caused a massive wipeout for the retailers, which could have been prevented by not diluting the meat products identified in the food supply chain earlier.

The food negligence and contamination can be looked after by the Food Standards Agencies of the respective countries that will analyze the samples of meat products before they reach the marketplace from the labs. It pushed the supermarkets to examine and monitor their supply chains carefully so that the incidents do not repeat. Additionally, the events also changed the food habits of the costumers.

However, the latest broad-spectrum imaging technology, known as hyperspectral imaging, has helped the industry by allowing the food processors to continually look after different elements of food available on the production line. Hyperspectral imaging can be set to discover a specific spectrum of light released by chemical and biological components present in the product, which makes it an influencing tool for food safety. Blended with an IoT system, it provides an immediate alert throughout the entire network, followed by rapid response along the supply chain as well as the food safety authorities.

Various sectors have leveraged hyperspectral imaging technology for years now, such as in mining, agriculture, biotechnology, environmental monitoring, and the armed forces. It has also been utilized in the food analysis features recently, keeping in mind the demanding needs for rapid evaluation and the requirement for data handling generated in vast numbers.

Tracking Contamination:

Many varieties of the sensor are leveraged in the IoT systems to monitor the safety of food in fields and during transportation with the appropriate temperature, humidity, and heavy metal and also give warnings if there are any food hazards or residues of contamination.

The food items that carry any unnatural environmental contamination either while handling it on-site or other processes can be instantly identified. Later they can be treated according to the processing line before they influence a much larger volume of food or harm the customer.

See Also: Top Food Packaging Solution Companies

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