Organic farming is booming: the share of land devoted to organic farming in Bavaria has steadily increased since 1994. Consumers have particularly high expectations about the quality of organic food. Quality is essential throughout the supply chain: from harvest, to logistics and storage, to processing and finally to transport to points of sale. It is hoped that a new sensor detection process developed during a joint research project between Frauhofer IVV, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), TH Nürnberg and other partners can help ensure that expectations for quality are satisfied. Using a combination of sensor technologies, optical methods, and smart algorithms, researchers have built wearable devices and smart software, which can also be easily used in small businesses. The joint project “SHIELD”, which consists of using sensory detection processes to guarantee the quality of (organic) food produced locally, is due to start on July 1, 2021 and has received 1.2 million euros in funding from the Bavarian Foundation for research.
“If we are to end unnecessary damage or waste of raw materials along the food supply chain, we need simple and reliable procedures that allow raw materials to be analyzed upon receipt of goods”, explains Prof. Andrea Büttner, Executive Director of Fraunhofer IVV and Research Chair in Aromas and Odors at FAU.
The chair of food chemistry is also involved in the project at the FAU; the chair of economics, discrete optimization and mathematics; and the Machine Learning and Data Analysis Lab. Sensors can provide immense amounts of data on the shape, color, size and quality of raw materials, as well as other important information. Based on this data, the Chair of Economics, Discrete Optimization and Mathematics and the Machine Learning and Data Analysis Lab can develop methods and models to predict shelf life and potential sales. some products.