“The infrared scanner analyzes the internal quality of fresh produce and predicts shelf life”
It almost sounds like science fiction. But it will be on the market this year. A scanner that not only analyzes the internal quality of fruits and vegetables. He also predicts how long they will stay. “We are a spin-off of a larger company. It has been developing this type of sensor for decades, ”says Marco Snikkers, CEO of the Dutch company OneThird.
“We are redesigning this specifically for the fruit and vegetable market. And then we combine it with the database we’re building. It is to offer something meaningful not only to producers and distributors. But also to retailers and ultimately to consumers. For now, however, the scanner is a B2B product. The system is unique. It can predict the shelf life of products. Based on this, users can decide what to do with the batch. “
Currently, day codes are affixed to fresh produce. These indicate its estimated lifespan. For example, P6 means that the product should be consumed within six days of harvest. However, this is a static and conservative average. OneThird gathers all the information specific to the product. It then adds the internal analysis. Here, the interior of the fruit or vegetable is scanned and properly analyzed, all in less than a second.
This results in an accurate estimate of the shelf life. It can be used to adjust the code. “The shelf life of products varies enormously. Retailers now use a fixed procedure based on the code of the day. Sometimes they throw away fruit that could last two days longer. They can use the scanner to re-scan products and predict their actual shelf life, ”continues Marco.
“So the item can still be sold and consumed. Retailers can also, for example, give additional discounts on products with a short shelf life. You can then use dynamic shelf life codes instead of fixed codes. Dynamic code predictions take more factors into account, so everyone in the food chain can make better decisions faster, based on this code. “
The scanner measures the internal quality of a product. It then downloads this information into a database. This contains all the known algorithms regarding the shelf life of the product. But the scanner is also self-learning. Machine learning means algorithms are constantly updated. In the long term, the scanner is also expected to become available to the consumer market as an app. Phone developers are already integrating infrared scanners. The shelf life application could then easily be run on a mobile phone.
OneThird gets its name from the fact that people throw away a third of the world’s food. “At the moment, fruit and vegetable companies are struggling to pre-determine the shelf life of products. This forces retailers to throw away fresh produce worth hundreds of millions of dollars. C “is at the direct detriment of profits. This scanner can determine the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. more dynamic. This will mean less waste and more cost savings,” concludes Marco.