The Silicon Review
“ImpactVision’s technology can help your company to reduce waste, improve yields, and prevent product recalls.”
Machine learning is catching the attention of businesses across many disciplines and sectors with Food Processing and Handling (FP&H) being one of them. Today, the FP&H industry is capped at a whopping $100 billion and will continue to grow at a CAGR of 5% at least till 2021. Along with machine learning, Imaging is an obvious route to assess the appearance, but by using sophisticated image analysis techniques the composition, color and physical structure of food can be determined in detail. The new technique of near-infrared imaging has been used to rapidly assess food composition.
ImpactVision is one such venture-backed software company based in San Francisco helping food processors, manufacturers and retailers rapidly assess their product quality to drive superior product consistency, deliver premium quality, prevent supply chain waste and differentiate their brands. ImpactVision was established in 2015, inspired by the founders’ discovery that hyperspectral imaging perceives information that the human eye cannot detect, such as internal quality and chemical composition also known as ripeness, firmness or shelf-life of food products. The firm believes the potential that this data has to transform the way supply chains process food is equivalent to the impact GPS had on navigation.
Services furnished by ImpactVision
In-line and Benchtop systems
ImpactVison’s in-line solution has been designed for industrial high-throughput environments, such as distribution centers and produces packing facilities. This way, food companies gain visibility into 100% of their products at production-grade speeds, driving superior decision making and reducing waste. Their portable benchtop system scans and provides real-time insights about food quality, such as shelf-life, ripeness or firmness. As a result, food companies obtain real-time objective information about product quality, providing superior sample-based testing to automate inbound quality control.
Foreign object detection
The firm is working with Beta San Miguel, Mexico’s largest sugar processor, to detect foreign objects at production-grade speeds of 73cm/s. ImpactVision’s system offers a real-time, highly accurate solution for scanning 100% of products and identifying contaminants both on and underneath the surface of foodstuffs.
Classifying freshness is of vital importance for anyone selling fish since the price is a direct function of perceived quality. ImpactVision worked with a European fishing cooperative to develop an accurate model for predicting the freshness of hake fish by extracting spectral data from the skin.
Avocado dry matter
Avocados are unique fruits, maturing on the tree, but ripening only once they have been harvested. Once picked, they ripen within one to two weeks, leaving a narrow window for optimal distribution. ImpactVision’s software accurately and non-invasively assesses the dry matter (DM) content of avocados. The firm is working with avocado distributors to replace slow, destructive and sample-based dry matter tests with their classification system which scans 100% of products to determine DM content in real-time and sort products accordingly at the production line.
Beef quality and tenderness
Today, 20% of all meat that is produced is wasted. Beef is the most resource-intensive protein to produce, so it is important to ensure its value is not wasted along the chain. ImpactVision has worked with a leading beef processor and a top retailer to non-invasively and rapidly predict three key quality parameters of beef: pH and color and tenderness.
ImpactVision’s system is 35x faster at measuring pH than traditional invasive pH meters, more accurate than visual checks at measuring color, and a game-changer for tenderness assessment which otherwise requires a skilled operator to use a destructive shear force test.
Benefits of ImpactVision’s system
Impactvision has been recognized by leading food and agriculture companies and competitions, such as Tesco, Unilever, Chipotle, the Mixing Bowl, MIT, and Nestle through their active participation in Reimagine Food’s program and several others.
The formidable leader
AbiRamanan is the Co-founder and also serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ImpactVision. She is a food entrepreneur and also the founder of two food businesses with food policy and supply chain experience.