Hitachi Digital Services, OneThird Tackle Food Waste with Data Platform

food waste hitachi digital services onethird

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by | Jan 24, 2024

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OneThird and Hitachi Digital Services are partnering to help tackle the ongoing global food waste issue through a digital management system to help supply chains become more efficient.

About one-third of food production is lost and wasted globally, amounting to a cost of about $1 trillion annually. The issue has garnered focus as the population continues to grow. The partnership between OneThird, which specializes in food waste prevention, and Hitachi Digital Services, the digital consultancy and technology services subsidiary of Hitachi, aims to enable a smarter and more flexible food supply chain through a real-time data insight platform.

The partnership combines OneThird’s Azure cloud and application expertise with Hitachi’s sensing and artificial intelligence technology to create the solution, which enables fresh produce supply chains to prevent significant waste of produce by at least 25% and also save on associated costs of those losses.

“The astronomical volume of food that goes to waste each year is heartbreaking, particularly since so much is wasted in affluent countries,” Marco Snikkers, CEO and founder of OneThird, said in a statement. “We’ve worked closely with Hitachi Vantara to create technology that helps to address this persistent, global challenge which directly impacts food scarcity.”

OneThird has developed a portable scanner that can analyze produce on a molecular level, including analysis of water, sugar and starch content, using a non-destructive, near-infrared sensing technology and AI algorithms. This scanner can predict the shelf-life of fresh produce, and, using Hitachi Digital Services’ cloud development capabilities, that data becomes available in real-time. This allows parties to make final retail destination decisions or redirect to alternative purposes, such as dry freezing or processing into soups or sauces.

The real-time data could lead to such interventions that will eliminate food waste in the supply chain.

Related content: Navigating the Future of Urban Agriculture: A Roadmap for Sustainability

“Currently able to predict the shelf life of tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries and avocados, the technology will extend to a range of further produce including grapes, bananas, mangoes, and raspberries by 2024,” said Roger Lvin, CEO of Hitachi Digital Services. “Notably, the solution solves the ‘avocado problem,’ with shoppers no longer needing to squeeze avocados in-store to test for their ripeness, which can damage them. As the food waste crisis continues, retailers must be equipped with the insights needed to reduce food waste in a truly impactful way.”

The technology is already available to workers across the food supply chain, including growers and distributors, and some European retailers are in talks to install the technology in-store while using it in their supply chain, according to the companies.

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