Fri 31 Mar 23
A team of Essex researchers has developed a commercial tool that will help manage and reduce food waste for managers and organisations in the agri-food industry.
Farms and retail account for almost 70% of the total food wastage and the new app, called EsVentory, could be an important step towards reducing that waste.
It’s the same team who launched a similar app three years ago, Nosh, which helps people minimise their household food waste.
Launched in 2020, the Nosh app was the world’s first AI based food management application for consumers and is one of the leading food waste apps available in the Play Store and App Store around the world.
The team hope their new commercial app will be just as popular.
Somdip Dey, lecturer in The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, lead researcher on the project said: “With the launch of this EsVentory food waste reduction application, we aim to help farms and retail shops including restaurants, supermarkets and food vendors to manage and reduce food waste better.
“Food wastage is not just a social issue but an environmental one. Earlier in 2020, with our launch of the Nosh app using machine learning we are already able to help thousands of consumers around the world to save more than 500,000 food products and save carbon emissions by more than 200 tonnes.”
The commercial tool – EsVentory – is based on an intellectual property on machine learning model developed by the team that is capable of reducing waste by at least 9%.
This new tool was recently launched at a workshop at the University organised as part of the wider project called ‘Commercializing machine learning to reduce food-waste at farms and shops’.
The project, which is funded by the EPIC BBSRC IAA Commercial Accelerator Fund at the University of Essex, plans to explore the commercialisation potential of EsVentory.
The team involved include Somdip Dey, Ramakrishnan Ramanathan and Magdalena Oldziejewska, all from the University, and Suman Saha, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Nosh Technologies.
Professor Ramakrishnan Ramanathan, of Essex Business School, said: “I hope the new app will help companies to measure, identify avoidable sources of food waste, undertake measures to reduce waste, and thus help them not only to improve their own targets but also to help the government’s zero carbon goal.”
Suman Saha, of Nosh Technologies, said: “This is the first AI based holistic food inventory management system in the market for farmers and managers of the agri-food industry that could not just help effectively manage inventory but at the same time helps to reduce wastage.”