With the world finally opening up, we took the opportunity to learn about new industries within a small but powerful conference, Fruit Logistica 2022 in Berlin, Germany.
After a long 2-years without conferences, we were reminded of the power of face-to-face meetings, the insights and revelations that occur, and enjoyed making new contacts in the fruit and vegetable industry.
Fruit Logistica is a conference that happens every year and hosts many players in the fruit and vegetable industry supply chain for a 3-day networking event. Key players join this event to discuss innovation in fresh products, technical systems, logistics and services in the fresh produce business .
On behalf on NanoScent, our CEO Oren Gavriely attended with the goal of learning how our sensors can help reduce the problem of food waste that producers face during transit and storage.
Why Does Fresh Produce Need Data?
Several stakeholders in the fresh produce industry need data. The most obvious ones are growers of fruits and/or vegetables, importers/exporters, and storage or shipping companies.
Currently, there are ways to monitor fresh produce with simple parameters such as temperature, humidity, and geolocation. However, the solutions for monitoring gases or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are limited. For example, ethylene is a VOC that is associated with the rotting/sprouting but is not objectively monitored by produce growers. Monitoring VOCs like ethylene could be a strong benefit for growers because it can allow them to identify what fresh produce is at risk of rotting/sprouting and act accordingly.
Who is Monitoring Data?
Let's face it, data monitoring is a way of life. We are, after all, in the digital era.
In the fresh produce industry, the agricultural sector (responsible for the growing) is at the forefront of accepting and integrating data solutions into their day-to-day operations and are most open to using data about fruit ripening.
Shipping companies, on the other hand, are a bit more reluctant to integrate these realtime insights since they work against them, resulting in claims and disputes.
Some shipping companies, like Emerson Shipping, are more innovative and offer communication solutions and track fresh produce-derived gases inside containers. These companies monitor some very basic gas levels, like carbon dioxide, because they see it as adequate for estimating the state of the ripening/rotting process. After learning this, we looked into the science and saw that this is not the case - ethylene is a much better marker for the ripening/rotting process.
Realtime Data for Fresh Produce with VOCID® CoolTrack
For the purpose of monitoring VOCs and gases, we are developing VOCID® CoolTrack so that growers can keep an eye on the quality of their produce while it's in storage for many months or even in transit.
Overall, the Fruit Logistica conference was a success for us and Oren relayed a lot of important information to the NanoScent team, all which came from a lot of discussions and valuable, much needed face-to-face time spent trying to understand the issues that fruit and vegetable producers face.