AI and food: will it get better?

Artificial Intelligence has been introduced into our lives at every turn. In the near future, presumably, there will not be a single field of activity that will not make use of AI advances. In particular, artificial intelligence may soon have an impact on the quality of food and beverages.

Integrating AI into the food production process will help companies to maximize the effectiveness of quality control. AI applications in this industry are now predicted to have an average annual growth rate of 28%, which is why scientists need to actively work on the feasibility of this technology. Machine learning has risen to a level of sophistication and development that could benefit a number of problems typical of the food industry, such as lack of product uniformity and the constant risk of infection. AI could potentially be used to improve production accuracy, comply with regulatory requirements, prevent a potential safety crisis, and reduce overall waste.

Special sensors, lasers, X-rays, and scanners are used to collect data, which is then analyzed by AI, enabling real-time adjustments to be made in production. Facial recognition software, following machine learning, will presumably be able to scan products that arrive on the conveyor belt, analyzing them for lack of uniformity and defects, as well as identifying other quality markers. The software is capable of sorting products and changing the ratio of components, assessing the condition of each batch. The AI sensors, which are called ‘e-noses’, function as electrochemical sensors. They detect ‘smell’ or detect potential pathogens in raw products. Other sensors record temperature, humidity, light, and other environmental factors, which can alert the system to any changes and make adjustments accordingly. By collecting this data, AI helps to adhere to international quality standards.

In the long term, AI will improve food safety and prevent the seizure of food by regulatory authorities. This will be achieved through data monitoring as well as compliance with sanitary regulations. The software is able to signal when something happens outside the normal operation of the system (identifying failures and potential quality hazards). This helps eliminate the possible risk of cross-contamination. Also, by means of facial and object recognition, the AI is able to monitor production workers to ensure that they comply with hygiene regulations (wearing headgear and masks).

Thus, already in the near future, artificial intelligence is likely to be present in every food factory, serving the good of mankind.


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