A new food waste management system powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is already installed in more than 75 kitchens and will be rolled out to “hundreds” more this year, the company behind the technology has revealed.
Kitchen specialist Winnow has created a system called ‘Winnow Vision’ that uses a camera, a set of smart scales and the same type of machine learning technology found in autonomous vehicles to recognise different foods being thrown in the bin.
It then calculates the financial and environment cost of the discarded food to commercial kitchens so that businesses can then adjust their food purchasing decisions accordingly, reduce spending and tackle overproduction.
The launch follows a proof of concept phase launched last year with early adopter partners IKEA and Emaar Hospitality Group, to test the technology in leading commercial kitchens around the world.
The pilot proved categorically that Winnow Vision surpasses human levels of accuracy and enables chefs to run smarter, more profitable and more efficient kitchens.
The launch of Winnow Vision follows the success of Winnow’s first device, which consisted of a set of smart scales and identified food manually.
Winnow has helped commercial kitchens save more than £23m in annualised food costs which equates to preventing over 23 million meals going in the bin.
Marc Zornes, CEO of Winnow, said: “Food waste is a global issue, and one that kitchens around the world are struggling with. Without visibility into what is being wasted, kitchens are wasting far more food than they think.
“By understanding and reporting food waste’s very real costs – both to the bottom line and the environment – Winnow Vision empowers chefs to take action. Using technology that learns and improves with each use, Winnow Vision has the ability to tackle food waste on a global scale.”
Food waste costs commercial kitchens between 5% and 15% of all food purchased, with some kitchens wasting up to 20%, according to studies. It believes its technology can help reduce the £75 billion that food waste costs the hospitality industry every year.
With Winnow Vision, businesses install a piece of technology that can already recognise most food items and can be trained to learn other menu items in any kitchen.
During the training and automation phases, the Winnow Vision system takes human input, providing a shortlist of possible menu items for kitchen staff to select, to quickly improve its predictions based on feedback.
Over time, the system continues to improve and will automatically recognise food with no human interaction. Chefs can benefit from full reporting in their kitchens, helping cut food waste and save money with minimal to no effort.