Food Waste Analytics

Student: Robert Sienkiewicz, 2020-2021

Sponsor: FloWaste, South Bend, Indiana

1/3 of food is wasted. If food waste was a country it would be the 3rd largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. Food waste also has a carbon footprint 6x larger than aviation. Amidst COVID-19 the food supply chain has been broken. This can be seen with beef shortages in the US, and other foods globally. FloWaste gathers data on food consumption and waste to derive recommendations to optimize the food supply chain, starting with cafeterias and fast food. FloWaste's analytics and food recognition system are built using recursive convolutional neural networks and this is the backbone of their innovation. Smart methods of data filtration and sorting make it easier to identify which neural network to use depending on a variety of scenarios. Food is a business in need of tech innovation to optimize as it is a very inefficient sector overall. Changing portion sizes, suppliers, ingredient combinations and user engagement lead to a substantial reduction in food waste and the costs associated, along with a 15% increase in customer satisfaction.