Apeel & ImpactVision work together to create less food waste

By Helen Adams
Up to 40% of food grown goes to waste. Apeel's acquisition of ImpactVision will usher in a new era of food data to minimise waste

Biotech company, Apeel, has completed its acquisition of foodtech business, ImpactVision. Together, ImpactVision’s hyperspectral imaging technology will be integrated into Apeel application systems. This will add a new layer of insights to help fresh food suppliers and retailers further reduce food waste. 

Apeel creates a more sustainable global food system by using the power of nature to enable longer-lasting produce that fights food waste from farm to kitchen. Apeel produce lasts twice as long, owing to its plant-based protection made from materials found in the skins, peels and seeds of all fruits and vegetables. Apeel’s protective extra “peel” slows the water loss and oxidation that cause produce to go bad. It is the only proven end-to-end solution for maintaining freshness. 

This reduces environmental impacts and gives everyone throughout the supply chain—from growers to retailers to consumers—more time to enjoy fresh produce. Farmers can sell more of what they grow and people can consume more of what they buy, creating a healthier planet and greater abundance for all. 

 

Digitizing food data

Apeel’s new imaging technology enables suppliers to see inside and understand the interior quality of fresh produce by collecting quantifiable data on stages of:

  • Ripeness
  • Freshness
  • Nutritional density and other indicators of quality. 

This marks Apeel’s first acquisition and a major step toward quantifying and digitizing produce quality data, with the goal of democratizing this new information for the benefit of Apeel’s partners and the global food system as a whole.

“Our journey began with Apeel’s plant-based protection - an invisible ‘peel’ that addresses the challenge of global food waste by bringing more time to fresh produce before it spoils”, said James Rogers, CEO of Apeel. “Using the insights enabled by Apeel’s imaging technology, our partners will effectively be able to ‘see’ inside of every fruit and vegetable, quantifying quality as never before, so that the distribution of fresh food can be optimized. For our partners, this will mean less waste and an immediate bottom-line improvement, and ultimately, the ability to one day differentiate produce by making freshness and nutritional content ‘visible’ to the consumer.”

This technology will unearth previously invisible characteristics of produce, including:

  • Internal quality
  • Phytonutrient content
  • Environmental impact

 

A solution to food waste

Apeel’s plant-based protection that doubles the shelf life of produce is currently applied to fruits and vegetables via application systems throughout packing houses and distribution centers across North America, South America and Europe. 

This new imaging technology will be added to these systems to collect data-rich images as produce travels along packing house conveyance lines. Acquired images will then be processed through machine learning models that can identify unique visual cues that relate to freshness, degree of maturity, phytonutrient content, and other aspects of fruit quality.

“ImpactVision’s technology can predict internal quality of food products from hyperspectral images”, said Abi Ramanan, Founder of ImpactVision. “When this ability to ‘see beyond the borders of human vision’ is combined with Apeel’s shelf-life extension technology, the potential to fundamentally transform produce supply chains to reduce post-harvest loss, optimize distribution and lengthen shelf-life is enormous.” 

40% of the food grown globally goes to waste, this more robust and holistic understanding of produce quality will allow fresh food suppliers to optimize distribution, thereby reducing food waste and maximizing the quality.

For example, suppliers can now know the exact ripening window for each piece of fruit to then sort and ship to geographical locations that will ensure retailers are getting the highest quality produce.

Today, Apeel has 30 supplier integrations on three continents with plans to double that number by the end of 2021. With its imaging technology and positioning in the fresh food supply chain, Apeel is on a path to developing the largest and most comprehensive database of objective fresh produce insights for the global food industry.

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