Approximately 1/3 of the agricultural production ends up in landfills, unfortunately confirming the second law of thermodynamics, which, in simple terms, says that every energy transformation is followed by an energy loss. As it is explained in the Agrimax Project website, a big percentage of this loss is due to the industrialization of the agricultural food products. Examining especially the part of the food chain that is related to storage and shipping, we find out that the loss accounts for 17% of global production. This is because while transported or stored in silos, grain is exposed to microbes and insects which find the ideal environment to grow.
How IoT technology becomes a part of the solution
IoT technology attempts to offer solutions that improve the supply chain as it uses a wide variety of sensors, some of them with very high precision measurements and machine learning algorithms for Big Data analysis. One of the companies working in this direction is Centaur Analytics, which started at Volos, Greece in 2014. Soon after its first funding in 2016, the company’s headquarters were transferred to California, U.S.A. The founding members Dr. Sotiris Bantas (CEO), Vasilis Sotiroudas (Chief Commercial Officer) and Avi Reichental (Chairman), with the early angel investor, Diogenis Devletoglou, shared the same vision; to provide a product that will upgrade the quality of the Post –Harvest part of the supply chain.
A group of sensors records temperature and humidity fluctuations, which are very much likely to pose serious threats to the stored crops. The accuracy of prediction increases with measurements of oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations. In addition, a phosphine sensor facilitates safe use of insect pesticides in the silo and makes sure that the insect elimination is in a good way. Exactly the same sensors systems are able to monitor the crops during transportation, covering all the links starting with harvesting till delivering the product to the manufacturer or the retailer’s premises.