The home-grown IoT tech combating food waste

Stuart Mason

Every year in Australia about 5 million tonnes of food goes to waste and has to be thrown out.

This amount of wasted food is worth $20 billion. And around the world, about 1.6 billion tonnes of food, worth $1.2 trillion, is wasted annually.

Australian company Outcomex has developed an Internet of Things solution aiming to help combat this food waste through real-time visibility, analytics and predictions in the food industry through its FoodDeck platform.

Outcomex also provides the FarmDeck platform, which provides Internet of Things monitoring for farm management.

FoodDeck helps to monitor food waste in stores and the temperature of food and fridges in both cold and hot situations. The platform can track products from production, harvesting processing, packaging and distribution, transportation and logistics and retail and waste.

Outcomex’s FoodDeck is a finalist in the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence in the Food and Agritech category. You can secure your tickets to the black-tie event here.

Outcomex has developed a pilot of its food compliance IoT solution for McDonald’s restaurants across New South Wales.

Under Australian regulations, McDonald’s must store all food at a specific temperature in its walk-in fridges. Because the different types of protein used by the fast-food giant have a different heat dissipation rate, there will often be different temperatures within the same fridge.

Adding to the complexity, food placement and the frequent opening of fridge doors also impacts these temperatures.

The FoodDeck solution helps to overcome the major data communication issues caused by low connectivity between the fridge and systems locations, making it different to accurately monitor temperatures and make changes when necessary.

There are about 10 fridges in each McDonald’s branch, and they are heavily insulated with concrete walls. This environment makes it difficult to communicate data from the fridge using the likes of wireless, 4G, 5G or Bluetooth.

FoodDeck can overcome this issue, and was also integrated into the analytics and reporting platform that was already in use by McDonald’s, meaning it could access all information from one point.

This solution will be implemented across the more than 1,000 McDonald’s stores in New South Wales.

Outcomex can also offer other features, such as waste management, with a platform alerting employees when the bins are full.

Through the pilot, Outcomex is aiming to prove that its innovative solution can help to reduce food waste through the use of real-time data and analytics.

The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence are proudly supported by Investment NSW, AusIndustry, Australian Computer Society, Technology Council of Australia, Agile Digital, CSIRO, TechnologyOne, IP Australia, METS Ignited and Q-CTRL.

Protecting your great ideas with intellectual property (IP) rights can lead to lasting benefits for your growing business. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as a brand, logo, invention, design or artistic work. Head to the IP Australia website to find out more about IP, and how it might help your business.

Reserve your place at the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence black-tie dinner by clicking here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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