How these 6 tech startups are tackling food waste

The world’s population is currently at 7.8 billion and is set to hit 10 billion by 2050 or even earlier. More people means more food needed – unfortunately, it also means more food wasted. About a third of all the food produced today goes to waste, and both businesses and governments are scrambling to find answers to cope with and reduce high volumes of waste.

Several startups are making innovative use of technology to detect food spoilage, keep food fresh for longer and process food waste in environmentally sustainable ways. While many of these tech solutions may seem avant-garde now, they may well be the pillars on which we base our anti-waste projects in the near future. Let us take a look:

1. Non-invasive and real-time monitoring of the first signs of spoilage

RoboScientific, a British technology company, won an agricultural tech competition hosted by Tesco for its device that detects minute changes in volatile organic compounds that livestock and plants emit. That could potentially indicate sickness or spoilage—just like how a robotic nose would work.

The company stated that this device’s inspiration dates back to the middle ages when doctors would detect disease in their patients based on the odours in their breath and faeces.

The robotic nose can help agriculturists contain disease or spoilage before it spreads too far and thus intervene to minimize food waste.

2. Software to monitor produce freshness

This software helps food suppliers and retailers make smart decisions about food freshness and when it is time to throw produce out.