The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Food Safety

October 19,2020 03:27 PM By James Flynn

What Is AI?

When I hear the words ‘Artificial Intelligence’ or AI, I think about indestructible, world destroying robots, like in the movie Terminator, or the self-driving underground at Charles de Gaulle, both equally amazing and frightening at the same time. AI is scary because it is misunderstood. Let us be honest, as humans we love to be ‘in control’. One thing we are sometimes not in control of is food safety and the supply chains that provide us with foods from around the world.

For example, where did the wheat from your breakfast cereal this morning come from? Was it transported and processed safely and correctly? Were banned or toxic pesticides used on the wheat? What about the milk? Is it locally produced? Was it pasteurised correctly? Are there high levels of anti-biotics present? Was it kept chilled at the correct temperature during transit? Added some sugar to your cereal? What if I told you the sugar canes used to make that sugar have been the subject of import refusals from 5 countries around the world? These are just some of the parts of the food safety loop that take a lot of effort to ensure that everything is safe and wholesome for your breakfast.

The American Dream

Artificial Intelligence is the future, and the future is now. In the USA, the FDA recently launched a blueprint called ‘New Era of Smarter Food Safety’, with the of having a fully digital, traceable food system that improves the safety and quality of foods coming in, and going out, of the USA.

This may be an American specific blueprint, but it is something that is moving closer on a global basis throughout, and before, COVID-19. The future of food safety and quality is digital. The days of endless stacks of paper and smudged ink on production check sheets is slowly coming to an end. A New Era Smarter Food Safety, is rapidly becoming a way of life.

To put that into perspective, 131 billion dollars’ worth of food was exported from America in 2019, $20 Billion of that was soybeans, you simply cannot effectively trace and monitor that on paper. Equally, they imported $151 billion worth of foods, feeds and beverages, the same challenges apply.

In August 2020, there were 16 food safety recalls alone, according to FDA, each with a cost that could run into $millions. These events are only the ones reported within USA, what about the exports?

Where is it?

The application of AI and digital solutions to the way we currently do things are already revolutionising our world. Every time you buy a product on Amazon, AI is at work, it is working on data from your mobile phone and is being used to detect cancer in the health care industry together with thousands of other applications. A human can only do one, two or maybe three things at once and needs to eat, rest and sleep. AI tools can be deployed to work 24/7, they never get sick, take holidays and complain about the working conditions, not yet anyway.

AI can read thousands of articles to see if there are any food safety concerns based against key words whilst at the same time analysing the data being input by production staff in real time.

Artificial Intelligence can not only do these things instantly but can also tell you what you need to know through customisable reporting functionalities. It can work at breakneck speed without ever breaking sweat. I agree, it may sound like I am over-excited about the possibilities of AI but that is because I am.

How can this help my business?

Applying AI is a major step forward towards a smarter, more informed and a better controlled future. 

3iVerify’s AI Scan is designed to monitor key aspects of the Food Supply Chain, 24/7, giving you real time information on your supply chain that you need to keep you, your business and your consumers safe.

If you would like to be part of the new era of food safety or simply learn more about the practical applications of AI in your business, Contact us today using the form to the right.

We also hosted a webinar on AI Scan, and how AI is affecting the food industry. Feel free to check out the full webinar by clicking the button below.

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