In the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an increased sophistication of current technologies allows for an optimization of the food supply chain. The use of robotics and automation has seen considerable growth in the food industry. A study from the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute affirms that nine out of ten processing and packaging companies are adopting robots to increase food safety, reduce work-related injuries and raise efficiency.
Paired with artificial intelligence, such technology enables food manufacturers to track their products as well as consumer demand to then match production to this demand through data analysis. While robotics increases efficiencies by automating tasks that can be repetitive, dull or rather dangerous, AI proposes a mean for companies to recognize waste and other inefficiencies.
Bob Doyle, vice president of the Robotic Industries Association, expressed that contaminated food can be detected with the data gathered from artificial intelligence and robotics, helping decide whether it should be removed from the supply chain. In his words, "If there is a food recall, you know exactly which batch was potentially contaminated and where the food went,” waiving the unnecessary disposal of non-affected foods. Furthermore, with this data, large food recalls can be alleviated as they can be uncovered before it heavily impacts the public.
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