Food management is fundamental to feeding millions of people in India and across the globe. Quality food management is an essential sequence of procedures for maintaining a healthy, editable and safe food for consumption and optimum distribution. Have you wondered how the food on your plate, got there? Do you know behind the scenes of how food you prefer got on the supermarket racks? if not, read for yourself. Food management with IoT reflects elevated food management standards in the current epoch.
Before we get into the details, let me mention; Ironically, in India though food production is sufficient to feed the entire population; inaccurate food quality management is leading to enormous food spoiling and wastage. Statistics of 2017-18 reveal that India produced 275 million tonnes of food while 14 million tonnes of it was wasted due to quality issues, this justifies the irony. This has caused due imbalance in the various wings of food process management, from storage, cooking to distribution and therefore requires an immediate solution that will help rectify the highlighted flaw.
An off late solution to this major issue is none than continuous monitoring automation. With growing food needs, production, distribution and the necessity of quality food consumption optimization quicker / reliable solutions are mandatory. Food process monitoring automation provides the same. Are you thinking how? Well, to be specific, Internet of things (IoT) based monitoring and automation is a prime solution that will combat issues pertaining to quality food management procedures.
Internet of Things (IoT) based Real-time monitoring solution
IoT technology is the latest technology that facilitates monitoring automation in various domains. Within the food processing management or restaurant sector, even the trivial monitoring and tracking is taken care in a hassle-free technique that smooths the entire food quality management procedure with availability of real-time data. The scope of IoT solutions are widespread in the food quality management through its exclusive automation features. Your food quality management upon implementation of IoT technology will transform to become ‘Smart Food Management’ with added benefits.
The food management wings
Apart from logistics, In the food processing and quality management system, there are many wings that play a vital role in the food quality optimization. Some of the important phases in the food quality management sector are:
How can IoT technology be implemented in food quality management through monitoring and tracking?
IoT based environment monitoring sensors (sensors that reads temperature, humidity, moisture, air purity) are deployed in food storage warehouses, food processing / cooking units, distribution vehicles and restaurants that collect real-time data and communicate to a IoT Cloud through wireless network communication (such as LTE, Wifi, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT and Sigfox). Data of different environment conditions are consolidated in the cloud, scrutinized to assort and record activities/patterns of food processing lifeline on a periodical basis. This prevents manual monitoring that often is a close to impossible task on a regular basis at a large warehouse, multiple food carriers, restaurants and processing units. The available data can be used to trigger automated SMS / Email messages on nearing threshold limits as a warming and on reaching threshold as an alert that requires immediate action. All this data can be accessed by managers / supervisors, anywhere, anytime for apt and accurate information on the temperature, pressure, smoke, gas, movements, location, and so on within the entire food chain management system.
Let’s observe the list of application solution that helps elevate your experience with monitoring food chain management as it entire each phase.
Monitor temperature and humidity of storage facilities
Food storage facilities could be warehouses, commercial storage and any huge area utilized for storing food grains/raw materials. These storage areas need temperature monitoring for sustaining good quality and edibility factor. For this purpose, with IoT technology; temperature, humidity and smoke sensors are deployed within these boundaries. These sensors measure the indoor conditions of warehouses on frequent basis which are translated as digital data after which are then transferred to cloud through M2M communication. The cloud is hosted by an IoT Management Platform. This data will be verified against the set threshold by managers / employees of warehouses to establish the emerging condition within the vicinity of food storage. SMS / Email alerts will be triggered and sent to concerned persons for immediate prevention. Even better is the activation of commands that triggers automation of action such as activating temperature controller, humidifier, de-humidifier, exact fan etc. IoT Automation approach not only helps to monitor temperature and humidity levels but also helps to automatically maintain it within warehouses. Added benefits are the smoke sensors and pressure sensors that help you watch and prevent fire and loss within your premises.
Closely watch and understand your Cold storage
Cold storage facilities are crucial aspects of food management systems across the globe, primarily as it focuses on increasing shelf life of raw and finished food materials. These cold storages must be monitored and kept check of its temperature conditions for effective usage. People have been manually recording temperature and operating the same; well, with increasing storage capacities in cold storage, manual monitoring increases the risk of failure and faulty estimates. To avoid that and closely watch and perceive your cold storage, IoT helps. Temperatures sensors collect data and transmit it to an IoT application-based cloud. This data is consolidated after examining against the tolerance / prescribed level of temperature in cold storage. Advanced analytics help assort data and convert it to readable formats that made accessible to managers / operators through platform application on the dashboard of their screens.
Introduce accuracy checks in food processing units
Processing units strive to convert raw materials to finished food products. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor and check accuracy of raw materials, preservatives, chemicals and finished products that are housed in processing units. Manual monitoring is time consuming and can go faulty with increasing production. It is here that IoT technology comes to rescue. IoT based quality monitoring, proximity, pressure and chemical sensors are deployed in food processing units. These sensors capture data concerning quality of raw material, pressure of chemical preservatives, alien material and so on. All this data is analysed in sync with pre-set thresholds, ratified and communicated to processing unit heads / workers to collaborate and assure monitoring and tracking within processing units. This ensures quality and certified food processing production process.
Detect and track food distribution in carriers / trucks
Once grains are reaped and food is processed, it needs to be distributed to various supermarkets, vendors and governments in order to be made available to the people. Most of the times, accountability in food distribution is lost with emerging number of middlemen. In order to ensure the equity in distribution and continuous quality standards, IoT technology lends a helping hand. Temperature, Motion detection and proximity sensors are deployed in trucks and carriers that transport food products. These sensors can be affixed with GPS tracker, when enabled, the sensors capture and send data while the GPS tracker communicates exact location to officials and heads that establishes transparency and accountability on both sides. Captured data moves to an IoT application-based cloud where it is available in digital advanced algorithms. It is further processed and assorted to readable data. It is then displayed on dashboards of administrators.
Supervise temperature within cooking spaces in restaurants
In order to ensure safety within such large cooking spaces that have to deal with enormous amounts of heat, gas and pressure every day, steady and continuous monitoring must be mandatory. Manually doing the same could result in flaws due to unexpected glitches that occur as a result of misestimation. Technology implementation helps this, specifically IoT that brings to life automated food quality management. IoT enabled temperature, pressure and gas sensors are to be fixed within these cooking spaces. These sensors pick and collect data pertaining to temperature, gas levels and pressure levels within the cooking areas in restaurants and send it to an IoT application-based cloud. In the cloud, data is analysed against tolerance levels set as thresholds by customers / managers. Accordingly alerts and warnings are triggered and sent to managers from time to time along with real-time data that facilitates close monitoring. Close monitoring inevitably ensures accuracy and safety of all within that space.
How Fogwing IoT Apps help owners / managers of food management system adopt IoT technologies easily?
Fogwing IoT Apps are web-based application systems that encompass IoT infrastructure to solve complex business and practical challenges. Fundamentally, Fogwing Industrial IoT Platform hosts Fogwing IoT Apps that are custom based application modules. Fogwing IoT Apps based Environment Monitoring Solution will address above discussed food management system challenges from storage to distribution.
As part of the Fogwing IoT Apps – Environment Monitoring Solution package, we provide industry grade sensors that measure and detect Proximity, Motion detection, Temperature, Gas, Smoke and Pressure along with wireless Gateway / Router which will be deployed within the stipulated boundaries of food storage, processing, distribution trucks and so on. These sensors are internet connected based; collect data on location, quality of food, atmosphere temperature, gas levels, pressure levels and send it to Fogwing Enterprise IIoT Cloud infrastructure. In the Fogwing IIoT cloud infrastructure, all data will be analyzed by our advanced data processing engine to validate the data integrity and accuracy. Owners / managers may set a threshold against these data sets to trigger automated alerts for prevention of damage and loss of livestock in food management systems. The customer can also access this data through Fogwing IoT Apps Web application dashboard. In case the threshold limits are being reached or has exactly reached, Fogwing will send signals to the micro-controller to turn on the coolers (depending on the data threshold) to act on maintaining the preferred conditions within cooking spaces and food storage facilities. With such great precision in functioning, Fogwing reassures accountability on either side of enterprise engagement in food management.
In conclusion, we can assure that Fogwing IIoT technology enables you to track and monitor food storage, cold storage as well as processing and distribution mechanisms for better overall management. It caters to your need of recognizing flaws within food management from farm to plate that empowers you to make the right decision on planning a routine management system from time to time.
At Factana, through our Fogwing Industrial IoT platform, we offer constructive solutions that enable you to achieve your goals. Fogwing portfolio of products work to provide systematic operations within food management modes to ensure keen maintenance, monitoring and tracking. As a cognitive platform, Fogwing helps you access real time data that improves your food management maintenance standards. Fogwing platform is engineered to suit your needs and provide services that lead to success stories! Grab the opportunity at sight, collaborate and experience tech wonders!
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