Tech4FoodQuality - Future sensors & Digital twins for quality of perishable food products

Tech4FoodQuality – Future sensors & Digital twins for quality of perishable food products

Together with key partners, OnePlanet Research Center is using the newest technology innovations to tackle problems in supply chains of perishable food products. Our goal is  to improve product quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and food waste with sensing and digital twin technology. The innovative sensor systems and the digital twins results in real-time status information and decision support. This opens possibilities for advanced quality-based control allowing for more efficient food chains with better matching supply and demand, more insight in the quality of the food products and less food waste. 

Imagine that.. we could use sensors and digital twins to improve the quality of perishable food products, while at the same time reduce greenhouse emissions and food waste!

To make a real impact within this domain, it is key to establish real-time access to supply chain conditions and product information in each stage of the supply- and production chain. OnePlanet Research Center is exploring the use of (i) advanced IoT sensor systems to monitor products in the supply chain,(ii) real-time data access and data integration to create the full picture of what is going on in the supply chain, and (iii) relevant models that allow for prediction of product characteristics at each moment of its lifetime.

With these elements in place, a digital twin of the product in the food supply chain can be created and continuously updated. The digital twin will allow for simulation of future behaviour in various scenarios, and thereby enables chain actors to make optimal decisions at each moment in time.

Two prototypes of a digital twin will be developed:

  1. The digital twin of the fresh supply chain, in which the emphasis lies on the long transportation and quality development of tropical fruits, such as bananas or avocados, and on non-destructive quality sensing of glasshouse vegetables such as tomatoes.
  2. And the digital twin of the meat production chain, in which the emphasis lies on individual quality monitoring of carcasses.

This work is done in a close collaboration between system and data integrators, sensor developers, use case partners and research institutes Wageningen Research and Imec as part of their collaboration in the OnePlanet Research Center initiative. OnePlanet is an innovation center for chip and digital technology in agri, food, health and environment. It is a collaboration between nano-technology R&D institute imec, Radboud University, Radboudumc and Wageningen University & Research.

This collaboration is a great example of how digital transformation can be applied in practice and have both economic and societal impact by reducing food waste, increasing product quality, reducing greenhouse gas emission, and increasing the profitability of the food chains.

Tablet in greenhouse