Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics platforms utilize cuttingedge technologies to capture, track, and analyze food waste data throughout the entire food supply chain. These platforms go beyond simple weight measurements, providing granular information about the type, source, and reason for food waste.

Impact on climate action

Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics in Reducing Food Waste catalyzes climate action by identifying inefficiencies and optimizing food supply chains. By reducing waste generation, minimizing methane emissions from landfills, and conserving resources, this innovation promotes sustainable consumption practices, mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, and fosters a more resilient food system.


  • Computer Vision and Image Recognition: This technology allows the identification and classification of different types of food waste, even in mixed waste streams. Cameras capture images of discarded food, and AIpowered algorithms analyze these images to identify and categorize the waste.

  • Weight Measurement Systems: Precise scales capture the weight of discarded food, providing quantitative data on the amount of waste generated. This data can be combined with image recognition information to get a complete picture of the waste.

  • Internet of Things (IoT) Sensors: IoT sensors are used to track food throughout the supply chain, monitoring parameters like temperature, humidity, and location. This data can help identify potential waste hotspots and predict spoilage before it occurs.

  • Data Analytics and Machine Learning: These platforms leverage data analytics and machine learning algorithms to identify trends, predict future waste generation, and provide actionable insights to businesses. The platforms can learn from historical data to create predictive models for future waste generation, allowing for proactive interventions.

TRL : 7-8

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Realtime Waste Tracking: Platforms are being designed to provide realtime data on food waste generation, allowing businesses to respond to potential issues immediately.

  • Automated Waste Reporting: Automated reporting systems generate detailed reports on food waste, simplifying data analysis and enabling streamlined decisionmaking.

  • Integration with Food Management Systems: Many platforms integrate with existing food management systems, such as inventory management software and pointofsale systems, to provide a comprehensive view of food utilization and waste.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Cutting-Edge Sensor Technologies
  • AI-Powered Waste Identification
  • Real-Time Insights for Immediate Action
  • Seamless Integration with Existing Systems
  • Behavioral Change Strategies for Waste Reduction
  • Blockchain for Enhanced Food Traceability
  • Optimizing Food Supply Chains with Data Analytics
  • Training and Education for Sustainable Practices
  • Consumer Engagement and Awareness
  • Empowering Kitchen Staff with Data-Driven Tools

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. Winnow Solutions:
    • Technology Enhancement: Winnow Solutions offers an innovative food waste monitoring and analytics system designed to help commercial kitchens and food businesses reduce food waste. Their technology combines smart scales, cameras, and artificial intelligence to track and analyze food waste in real-time.
    • Uniqueness: Winnow Solutions stands out for its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with existing kitchen workflows. Their system provides actionable insights and recommendations to help kitchen staff optimize food production, minimize overordering, and identify opportunities for waste reduction.
    • End-User Segments: Winnow Solutions primarily targets the hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants, catering companies, and institutional kitchens, where food waste management is a significant challenge. Their technology is valuable for any food business looking to improve sustainability, reduce costs, and enhance operational efficiency.
  2. Orbisk:
    • Technology Enhancement: Orbisk offers an AI-powered food waste monitoring system that uses smart cameras and machine learning algorithms to automatically identify and quantify food waste. Their technology provides real-time data and insights to help food businesses track waste patterns, set reduction targets, and optimize operations.
    • Uniqueness: Orbisk’s unique selling point lies in its advanced image recognition capabilities, which allow for accurate and efficient monitoring of food waste without the need for manual input. Their system can distinguish between different types of waste, such as food scraps, spoiled items, and overproduction, enabling targeted interventions to minimize waste.
    • End-User Segments: Orbisk caters to a wide range of food service establishments, including restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and corporate kitchens, where food waste management is a pressing concern. Their technology is particularly valuable for businesses seeking to improve sustainability, comply with regulations, and enhance their brand reputation.
  3. Leanpath:
    • Technology Enhancement: Leanpath offers a comprehensive food waste prevention platform that combines hardware, software, and consulting services to help food businesses measure, manage, and reduce food waste. Their technology includes smart scales, tablets, and cloud-based analytics tools for tracking and analyzing food waste at every stage of the production process.
    • Uniqueness: Leanpath distinguishes itself through its focus on behavior change and employee engagement. In addition to providing data-driven insights, they offer training programs, coaching sessions, and ongoing support to empower kitchen staff to adopt waste-reducing practices and sustain long-term improvements.
    • End-User Segments: Leanpath serves a wide range of food service providers, including hotels, restaurants, catering companies, and institutional kitchens, where food waste is a significant operational and environmental challenge. Their technology is valuable for businesses looking to implement holistic waste management strategies, reduce costs, and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. Wageningen University & Research:
    • Research Focus: Wageningen University & Research is a pioneer in the field of Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics, focusing on developing sensor technologies, data-driven models, and decision support systems to quantify, analyze, and mitigate food waste across the supply chain.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the development of smart sensors and IoT devices for real-time monitoring of food storage conditions, shelf life, and quality degradation. They also employ machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to identify patterns, predict spoilage events, and optimize inventory management practices to minimize food losses.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in food manufacturing, retailing, and distribution, enabling stakeholders to optimize production scheduling, reduce overstocking, and implement targeted interventions to extend the shelf life of perishable products. By advancing Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics technologies, Wageningen’s research contributes to improving resource efficiency, mitigating environmental impact, and promoting sustainable food systems.
  2. University of California, Davis:
    • Research Focus: University of California, Davis conducts groundbreaking research on Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics, leveraging its expertise in agricultural economics, food science, and information technology to develop innovative solutions for tracking, analyzing, and managing food losses.
    • Uniqueness: Their research encompasses the integration of RFID tags, barcode scanners, and imaging technologies to trace food products throughout the supply chain and monitor their condition in real-time. They also explore the use of blockchain technology and decentralized platforms to enhance transparency, traceability, and accountability in food distribution networks.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in food retail, hospitality, and food service industries, enabling stakeholders to optimize inventory management, reduce food waste, and improve profit margins. By leveraging advanced analytics for food waste reduction, UC Davis’s research aims to create value along the entire food value chain while minimizing environmental footprint and conserving resources.
  3. Imperial College London:
    • Research Focus: Imperial College London is engaged in cutting-edge research on Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics, focusing on developing integrated sensor systems, AI algorithms, and optimization models to address food waste challenges in urban environments and global food supply chains.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the deployment of smart sensors in food storage facilities, transportation vehicles, and retail outlets to monitor temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors that influence food quality and safety. They also investigate novel data analytics techniques, such as deep learning and anomaly detection, to identify inefficiencies and vulnerabilities in food distribution networks.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in smart cities, food logistics, and humanitarian aid efforts, enabling stakeholders to optimize resource allocation, prevent food losses, and ensure food security for vulnerable populations. By pioneering Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics solutions, Imperial College’s research supports the transition towards circular food systems and the achievement of sustainable development goals related to poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Food Waste Monitoring and Analytics platforms are being adopted by a wide range of businesses across the food supply chain, including restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, and food processing companies.