DIGITAL MONITORING OF FRUIT & VEGETABLE FRESHNESS
It is not easy to determine for how long fresh fruit and vegetables can be stored on shelves in shops or at home, as differences in storage conditions along the supply chain can affect quality and shelf life. Therefore, the shelf life and freshness of fresh fruit and vegetables is not currently commercially speciﬁed. The difference in storage conditions, and unspecified shelf life means that fresh fruit and vegetables entering the supply chain risk losing quality before they are sold or consumed, resulting in ﬁnancial losses and increased food waste.
The DigiFresh project will help us to determine the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables, at each stage in the supply chain.
As part of the DigiFresh project, we will monitor the conditions which can affect quality of fresh fruit and vegetables such as temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide, in order to develop digital twins that are able to predict freshness and/or remaining shelf life. Retailers will be able to use these models to keep fruit and vegetables fresher for longer, reduce ﬁnancial and food losses, and increase customer satisfaction.
This project will involve integrating existing commercial sensor technology and real time monitoring with smart digital twins, to translate storage conditions in the supply chain into remaining shelf life.
DigiFresh provides an automatic prediction of freshness/residual shelf life of F&V in the supply chain based on T, RH and CO2, together with aﬀordable wireless hardware and user friendly ICT infrastructure. This adds intelligence to data interpretation for the actors in the supply chain allowing for beer product management. With ﬁrst applications in the economically very relevant markets of berries and leafy greens, we foresee the solution will lead to increased eﬃciency of the handling of F&V in the supply chain, reduced food losses along the supply chain with cost reductions and additional revenues expected for actors in the supply chain.
The F&V market is characterized by ﬂuctuating demands and prices, and proper operational management based on data intelligence will oﬀer competitive advantages (supply the right quality at the right me). Highly perishable F&V are largely aﬀected by variations in cold chain conditions through the respiratory activity and loss of moisture due to evaporation. Incorporating respiration and evaporation knowledge proves essential to render a reliable solution that is currently not oﬀered on the market.
The societal outcome is that more reliable quality and shelf life of F&V can be guaranteed leading to increased consumer trust in fresh food. The environmentally friendly solution can create an even more positive image of fresh F&V that will help in campaigns to increase consumption, particularly for vulnerable groups such as children.
Financing Program: EIT RIS innovation program
Duration: January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021 (12 months)
Budget: 556,204.00 €