The food and beverage industry is a complex arrangement of activities that amalgamates different industrial sectors. From supplying of raw material and stocking of crops to delivery and consumption of food products the services of food industry are spread across the world and in different formats. Recently, finished food products have made inroads in the field of food processing in the form of instant-cooking.
However, this industry is on the verge of major technological revolution. From delivering pizza via drones to genetically modifying crops to feed the hungry, food and beverage industry is ready to take off on a new journey of Artificial Intelligence. This technology holds the capability to improve and augment the process in numerous way. The innovative application of Artificial Intelligence in food and beverage industry is setting a new trend and changing the way how business is done.
Let’s understand the existing application of Artificial Intelligence in the food industry:
Kiosks: It is a self-ordering machine based on Artificial Intelligence. Recently, several restaurants have integrated this technology, which dramatically lessens the customer’s waiting time, standing in the line for payment and improves overall customer ordering experience. Here, they can place their order and make the payment directly to kiosk with the help of integrated card reader.
Apps and Chatbots: “Please hold the line, we will be back in a moment” is the most annoying statement to encounter while placing our queries. With Artificial Intelligence, now restaurants are responding to their customer inquiries using virtual assistants. The process is now easy and you don’t have to wait for hours to place an order.
Robots: How long do you wait for your food to finally arrive after placing an order? Well, resisting the gastronome in you while sitting in a restaurant or at home and waiting for your turn of delivery is the most annoying experience. With robots installed in restaurants, it would augment the speed and capacity of food preparation as well as delivery.
Recommendation Engines: The loop of what to eat and what not to eat and then ending up choosing the regular cuisine is the story of everyone’s life. What if applications can recommend you meals based on your eating preferences and let you explore something different? Developers are creating apps based on Artificial Intelligence that will give references based on your gourmet habits.
The Future of AI in Food and Processing Industry
Cataloguing Products and Packages: Amid several challenges faced by food processing plants, the uneven availability of feedstock is one of the unique problem experienced here. Based on shape, size and color, a food processing plant has to catalogue heaps of vegetables. Most of the sorting is done manually but AI can be a significant solution here.
This technology can be used to automate this process of cataloguing vegetables and help augment efficiency, lower labor costs and speed up the process. A decent combination of Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, cameras, x-rays, lasers and machine learning will allow efficient measurement and fast analyses of vegetable in every aspect and sort foods for their optimized use.
Food Safety: Artificial Intelligence can be used in food industry for automatic detection of license plates, fighting IP privacy, catching any kind of violations and correcting them on real-time basis. In fact, they can automatically inform individuals if they are not wearing hair protection and masks while cooking or violating any safety regulations.
Best Quality Cleanliness: It is rather easy to detect whether food processing equipment is clean or not by using Artificial Intelligence based sensor system. This technique can help save money on water, lessen the time needed to clean them and consume less energy at food manufacturing plants. Several corporations are using self-optimizing system based on optical fluorescence imaging technologies and ultrasonic sensing. In simple words, this system will integrate data to an AI program, which will screen the amount of food as well as microbes are placed in the equipment.
Discovering Cuisines: The food industry is known for its limitless choices of spices, flavors and ingredients and hence recipes can be twisted in unbelievable ways. It is rather challenging to settle on what precisely customers want. But Artificial Intelligence can help with this process, where it can tell food companies to what to create based on consumers preferences.
Generating Revenue: The food industry is largely dependent on the data about flavor combination, customer’s cuisine choices and combinations that people frequently reorder. This kind of information allows company to launch innovative products in the market and help generate revenue.
Though AI can be a viable option to transform food industry but it has got a long journey to cover. Currently, food processing industry is experiencing big data problems. Meanwhile introduction of Genetically Modified Crops is facing backlash in most parts of the world. In such a scenario, it is reasonable to question that whether we should interfere with the natural processes of growth or let it remain green with no technological intervention?