The issue of food waste is a global problem. What this means exactly and what Sensirion is doing about it is described in more detail on this page.
What we should know about food waste
According to FAO 1/3 of all food is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year. It is food that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. 45% of all fresh fruits and vegetables go to waste.
Unfortunately, food waste and loss is not the only issue. It also leads to a major loss of resources such as water, land, energy, labour and capital, and leads to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn contributes to climate change.
The related greenhouse emissions are so immense, that it would be the world's 3rd largest emitter if it were its own country. On top of all that, these food losses have a major impact on the food security and hunger in the world’s poorest countries.
The facts show that food waste should be reduced.
How Sensirion can help prevent food waste
To achieve a reduction of food waste it is crucial to consider the entire supply chain from farm to fork. Many fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, are transported and stored in a controlled atmosphere (CA) to preserve freshness. CA parameters are carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as humidity and temperature (RH/T). The exact conditions depend a lot on the exact commodity, with typically a low temperature, high humidity and CO2 concentration somewhere between 1% and 20%. Proper monitoring and controlling of the transportation conditions allows to prevent losses by proactive action and improve the quality of the supply chain. We have the right sensors that help to preserve freshness by monitoring the environment during transportation. For more technical details, click here.
STC31 Thermal Conductivity Sensor
Sensirion's upcoming thermal conductivity sensor STC31 is designed to enable accurate, fast and stable high concentration CO2 monitoring. Proper monitoring and controlling of food transportation conditions allows to prevent losses by proactive action and improve the quality of the supply chain.
SHTC3 Humidity and Temperature Sensor
Sensirion’s proven and reliable SHTC3 sensor measures and controls temperature and humidity during food transportation. Together with the STC31 thermal conductivity sensor for measuring high CO2 concentrations, it enables ideal transportation conditions and significantly improves the quality of the supply chain.
5 simple tips for efficient food handling
The largest part of food waste is caused by households. To counteract this issue, we have put together 5 simple tips for efficient food handling.
1. Buy "ugly" fruit and vegetables as well
A lot of food is wasted for cosmetic reasons. Imperfect shapes and sizes are unattractive to most consumers. Help to change that!
2. Shop smart
When you go food shopping, make sure you don't buy too much food. Plan out your meals and make a detailed shopping list with the ingredients you need. Don't shop hungry!
3. Trust your senses instead of expiration dates
Expiration dates refer to food quality, not food safety. In reality, the food is still edible much longer.
4. Don’t focus on composting
Try composting, but don't focus on it. We should reduce the waste we create and then compost. A composted whole fruit is also food waste and bad for the environment.
5. Use helpful local gadgets
Apps such as "Too good to go" make it possible for restaurants and shops to sell foods that do not have a long shelf-life much cheaper.