IoT and its application in the food industry
If it seems that the food industry and connected objects are totally different concepts, the reality says otherwise. In a sector where consumers are becoming increasingly demanding, anything that can move technology forward brings a significant economic boost.
Connected objects - increased transparency in food production
The subject of food is regularly in the spotlight. Why? This area is all about an essential need humans have: for food. The public is becoming increasingly demanding about the products on its plate and the different food scandals of recent years have led not only to a strengthening of food security but a growing distrust among consumers. More than in any other industry, the food industry must make an effort to meet the needs and demands of its end users. This requires maximum transparency at all stages of the production chain. Connected objects can help with this in many ways: from production to consumption and transport to processing.
Monitoring the cold chain with IoT
One of the main uses of IoT in the food industry lies within the conservation of produce, specifically within the "cold chain". If this chain of chilling or freezing is broken, produce becomes unusable, resulting in a waste of valuable food and a financial loss for production companies. Sensors that control the parameters of temperature or light exposure already exist and can be found both in storage and transport: containers, freight trains...
IoT and its application in tracking produce
Produce traceability is also essential. Its origins, the route it travels and where it is at any given time can all be monitored. The development of IoT is bringing new applications to this: consumers can verify where their produce comes from, enabling them to be sure of its origins and quality. These applications have begun to appear on ... alcohol. In 2015 the Rémy Martin brand developed a connected bottle for the Chinese market, giving customers a guarantee that the cognac they are buying is authentic.
Cutting costs with the help of connected objects
Connected objects are also becoming increasingly involved much earlier in the production chain. In their fields, for example, farmers are using a combination of techniques to control the spread of fertilizers and pesticides. This leads to a reduction in the use of chemicals, helping to meet the expectations of an increasingly eco-aware public and creating financial savings for the farmers.
The use of IoT technology in this field, however, is still in its infancy. Better stock control and inventory methods, the fight against waste, actions that impact on marketing ... the Internet of Things has the power to influence all of these. A lot still remains to be achieved.
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