REIF Project on Intelligent Food Chains Has Kicked-Off

Food industry is complex: product safety requirements are strict, forecasts for agricultural outcome are unreliable, and consumption trends can change quickly. In Germany, vast quantities of food, amounting for up to 11 million tons, get lost during the production process alone. Smart food chains, that reduce waste and help preserve the eco-system, are needed more than ever. To address this pressing need, the search for Resource-Efficient, Economic and Intelligent Food Chain (REIF), has officially started.

In the course of the next three years, the REIF project team will identify approaches and create concepts to reduce food waste based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The large amount of data that the food industry has to generate to address strict regulatory requirements, is an excellent opportunity for an AI-based approach. Artificial Intelligence will make it possible to use the accumulated data to optimise processes in the food value chain.

The focus of REIF will lie on the three product groups – meat, dairy and bread – although a later inclusion of other product groups is also foreseen. The research will look at both production streams (improving efficiency of production lines) and consumption streams (looking at better models to forecast demands) with the aim to create a better connection between consumption and production.

Relying on advanced expertise in multi-stakeholder engagement, the CSCP will support the effective and efficient integration of all relevant stakeholders during and after the project. Also, the CSCP will offer training and further education to enable participating companies to adapt to operational processes and organisational learning.

By analysing the needs of manufacturers, retailers and end consumers, the requirements for AI-based services will be sharpened and the range of solutions and concepts improved to ensure connectivity and further use of the project results.

The application potential of AI ranges from the improvement of singular production processes, for example the reduction in production waste in baking bread through the implementation of soft sensors, to approaches that consider the whole value chain up to the consumer, for example through the implementation of consumption forecasts and their feeding back into the upstream production processes.

The REIF consortium consists of 18 partners and it will be coordinated by the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).

For further information, please contact Rosa Strube.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.
Photo by Rodolfo Marques on Unsplash.