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Bühler and Microsoft commit to improving availability of safe and healthy food

28 April 2018

Bühler and Microsoft are building an alliance to increase the availability of safe food and to enhance food integrity and traceability. 

They are jointly rolling out cloud-based solutions to help eliminate contaminated grains and introducing new services to improve the availability of safe and healthy food. An important part of the planned cooperation are block-chain applications, whose feasibility is currently being evaluated.  

Food safety and availability is one of our most demanding global challenges. While30% of all food is lost or wasted, 800 million people are starving. It is hoped that the application of digital technologies, such as cloud, artificial intelligence and block-chain technologies, combined with inspection and processing technologies of Bühler and partners, will provide transparency and greater efficiency in food value chains.  

Around 25% of all harvested grain is contaminated with mycotoxins. “It is clear that the global food value chain is not sustainable yet and the consequences of climate change and the rate of population growth result in a challenge of daily increasing magnitude”, said Ian Roberts, CTO at Bühler. LumoVision is an optical sorting technology which is able to identify aflatoxin based on direct indicators of contamination, while simultaneously using real-time, cloud-based data to monitor and analyse contamination risk. LumoVision is said to eliminate up to 90% of contamination and reduces yield loss to below 5%. This demonstrates the impact that the partnership of Bühler and Microsoft can bring to bear in food safety.  

“The Bühler and Microsoft partnership proves that the rigorous digital transformation of the business enables companies operating in traditional industries not only to win new customers and expand their markets, but also solve major challenges for humanity,” said Marianne Janik, general manager of Microsoft Switzerland.  

New opportunities
New technologies, such as block-chain applications, have the potential to enable full traceability within food value chains. They could be key to ensuring food integrity and in the fight against food fraud. “We live in exciting times; digitalisation has now reached the global food system,” said Roberts.

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