IoT expands for the Internet of Things. In simple words, IoT is defined as the process of introducing artificial intelligence to physical devices such as computers and mobiles. There is no doubt that IoT is the boss of every game.
In the recent decades IoT has shown its role in every field like transportation, aviation, manufacturing, healthcare, and mining and even in the defense sector. When we talk about the food and beverage industry, the role of IoT is almost incomparable there.
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IoT has facilitated the food sector with different and modern technologies. These technologies not only reduce the cost of production of the food products but also have increased the quality of by products and end products.
Food industry and IoT
Before jumping to the main topic, first let us clear the meaning of a few important terms in mind.
Food sector consists of the group of the industries which are directly or indirectly involved in the processing of a food product. The food industries can be linked to any of the production, distribution, preserving, processing, conversation and storage of a food item. Two types of products are delivered by a typical food industry, i.e., by products and end products.
For example, a wheat flour industry uses wheat from the agricultural sector to produce wheat flour as the end product. In between the process wheat bran is produced as the by-product. But both have some money value in the market.
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Types of food industries
Food industries are classified into following types:
1. Primary food industry: Primary food industry involves in converting agriculture produce into consumable items. It involves the cleaning, washing and processing of food items.
2. Secondary food industry: Secondary industry converts the consumable food items into proper edible food items.
3. Tertiary food industry: Tertiary food industry is also known as frozen food industry. It consists of preserved food items. For example, packed snacks and frozen food items.
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Examples of food industries
Let us consider all types of food industries by taking a common example :
Apples cultivated in the orchard of Kashmir are collected by the primary industries. There they are cleaned, washed and packed in different packing. Later the end product of the primary industry is collected by the secondary industry and the apples are collected into pickles and other edible items.
Tertiary industries also collect the final goods from primary industry and convert into preserved items like chips and juices. This is the classification of three types of the food industries.
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Applications of IoT in the food industry
IoT has a huge impact in the food industry. Following are the applications of the IoT in the food sector.
Applications of IoT in food industry
Management of the industry equipments
The important aspect of IoT devices is their utility in solving the problems in kitchen equipment before the matter is serious. This would save time and also capital expenditure on the equipment for their regular maintenance. If a device is about to give way, the signalling and reform features of the IoT would allow the owner to know about the device.
This is very crucial when it comes to the role of IoT in the hospitality sector as the obstruction in the workflow causes losses in the market reputation and also the customer satisfaction. The income also reduces or changes in the income during those days.
IoT technology improves the refrigerator and their storage conditions so in the food sector it's very important how the condition of the refrigerator is because a lot of food material is stored in the refrigerators. IoT improves the temperature.
Different types of food material require a particular temperature for their storage. The fragrance and flavours of the food items should remain intact and they shouldn't be lost with time so the refrigerator is used for this purpose. IoT not only improves the condition of the food but also preserves its nutrients.
The same temperature condition can be used for the different types of food items or we can save different food items at one particular temperature like ice cream, fresh fruits, meat etc.
Reduce the energy consumption
IoT reduces the use of energy and saves time. If an oven is accidentally left on or on operating mode and the food item is taken out then the oven gets off itself by the sensors. This is mainly done for maintaining the cost and sending notification to the owner about that.
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The internet of things helps in keeping a track of the stock in the kitchen. The application is installed on the smartphone and the tablets which manages the stock of the kitchen in various food industries and also in the restaurant.
It would be able to notify the industry or the restaurant about the stock or any requirement of food to their linked devices.
In oven designing
The Internet of things controls the temperature of the oven. IoT in the oven prevents the overcooking and damage of food in the oven. The sensors are fitted in the oven which notify the person in charge about the condition of preparatory food in the oven ad it's temperature condition, is it optimum or not. If the response is zero, then the oven will switch off automatically.
Reduce logistics charges
IoT technologies and instruments reduce the transportation and logistics costs. The technologies provide the owner insights related to the real time supply chain.
Data analytics report
The Internet of things tracks the data and records of the restaurant. This gives priority to the person in charge about the information and feedback. This in turn, tells industries how they should improve.
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Food safety regulations
IoT enabled sensors and the recorders help in ensuring the premium quality of the food. Thus, helps in achieving quality regulations set up by different organizations and institutes.
Give an update related to customers
IoT technologies update the users regarding the customers behavior and demands.
Limitations of the IoT in the food industry
Though, the internet of things has many advantages in different sectors. Still following are the limitations of the IoT in the food industry:
Internet of things systems are interrelated and communicate with the network. It gives control despite any type of security messages and it leads to various types of security attacks.
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The participation of users is very less, but the internet of things provides the personal data of users in maximum detail. So it provides less privacy to the users.
The IoT system is very complicated.Its designing, developing and maintaining is very complex. It needs a well knowledgeable person to handle such a complex system.
A way forward
The future of the food industry is more secure only when it is guarded with the applications of IoT. IoT is the game changer of every field. Even in recent times, the globe has sustained the food requirements of the population. The global hunger index is itself an indicator how the food sectors have evolved in the last decade.
This has become possible only because of the advent of IoT in the food sector. Though, privacy and complexity are the major drawbacks of IoT. But with proper technical research and applications, these fields can also be covered.