Smart IoT Monitoring Project for the Quality of Food Products During Storage and Distribution

Funded by the L2 support line ‘Industry 4.0 Coupons, Consultancy in Industry 4.0 Implementation’ from ACCIÓ, the Agency for Business Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia.

During 2022, and in response to the needs of customers in the FOOD SERVICE and CONTROLLED TEMPERATURE LOGISTICS sectors to have estimates of both the reduction in shelf life at freezing temperatures and the product temperature (refrigerated) based on temperatures recorded in the air, AKO initiated a research project with IRTA, a reference center in agri-food technology, with the aim of addressing these market needs.

 

IRTA considered and evaluated the scope of the project, which required an analysis of the state of the art, theoretical/mathematical studies, and experimental analysis. The size and timing of the project made it pertinent for AKO to structure the project in the form of a CUPÓ (Industry 4.0 Coupons, ‘Consultancy in Industry 4.0 Implementation’ from ACCIÓ, the Agency for Business Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia), which was granted in November 2022 with a 12-month execution period. The project was successfully completed and justified in December 2023.

 

The research project was articulated into two challenges: 1) Determine the loss of shelf life of food products at freezing temperatures (relative loss caused by temperature excursions) and 2) Determine the temperature of a refrigerated product considering the air temperature in the refrigeration space.

 

These challenges respond to the usual operations of the sectors and markets under consideration, where the effects of temperature on products allow decisions to be made about their quality and safety.

 

The project, built on a very solid techno-scientific food base, also used usability and user experience criteria to simplify the calculations and estimates of the new functionalities. This is why estimates have been provided for the 16 typical groups of food products already available on akonet.cloud, as shown in Table 1.

ID FOOD / FOOD GROUP
1 Fresh fish and seafood
2 Smoked fish
3 Packed pork
4 Pork
5 Chicken
6 Poultry
7 Beef
8 Cooked meat
9 MISCELLANEOUS MEAT
10 Dairy
11 Vegetables A
12 Vegetables B
13 Vegetables C
14 Fruits A
15 Fruits B
16 Fruits C

Research into these two new functionalities will enable AKO to offer new digital services related to food preservation (product care) in the Food Retail, Food Service, Controlled Temperature Transport, and Food Industry sectors, demonstrating once again AKO’s strong commitment to its markets and customers, as well as the company’s leadership in knowledge within the cold chain for food.