The New Buzz In India AI in Food Processing

What’s The Buzz on India’s Plan for AI in Food Processing?



  • What if artificial intelligence (AI) could help farmers earn more?

  • What is India’s next plan in this field?

  • Is AI actually changing the Food Industry? If yes, how? 

India is on the brink of a technological transformation in its food processing industry. Imagine if artificial intelligence (AI) could help farmers earn more. Image if AI helps them reduce waste, and make food production more efficient. That’s exactly what experts and officials are aiming for. AI in Food Processing. 

A recent conference organized by the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) focused on the same.

With top officials, including Anita Praveen, Secretary of Food Processing, and support from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), India is crafting a strategic plan to make this vision a reality.

NITI Ayog member Ramesh Chand proposed a new idea. He suggested creating easy-to-use portable devices with AI to check the quality of farm products.

He also advised using AI to develop simple portable devices for quality assaying of agricultural produce, which could be a “great service to the nation”. Ramesh said, “Can we think of low-scale devices to check the quality of the produce? In the absence of assaying devices, we are still focusing on quantity rather than quality.”

Let’s dive more into AI in Food Processing

What did you have for breakfast today? Oats or maybe bread and jam? These are finished products, right? It’s hard to picture a bunch of raw oats or a lump of wheat flour dough mixed with yeast. The magic that turns these raw ingredients into the tasty foods we enjoy is all thanks to food processing.

The Indian Food Processing market was valued at INR 28,027.5 Billion in 2023. It is expected to grow with a CAGR of 8.8% during 2024-2032. 

But we just discussed India’s ambitious AI agenda for food processing. How is that possible? How can AI help in the Food Processing industry? Let’s explore this in detail.

What lead to the inclusion of AI in Food Processing?

According to a report by the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), around 16 per cent of India’s total agricultural produce is wasted. To reduce this number, we can process these crops or grow more popular crops that could be exported. This would increase farmers’ income and boost the nation’s GDP. 

Most farmers choose what to grow based on tradition and what others around them are planting. However, their soil might be better for different crops they might not know about.

Here’s where AI and machine learning come in handy.

  • Collecting Data

AI collects data on soil type, crop yield, cultivation costs, selling prices, historical data, wastage rates, and more.

  • Making Predictions

Using this data, AI can create a prediction model and recommend the most suitable crop for specific locations.

  • Boosting Income

By suggesting profitable crops, it also enhances farmer income.

Information Description
Soil Type Data on the soil types in a specific location where crops are cultivated.
Crop Yield Information about the quantity of crops harvested per unit area.
Cultivation Costs Expenses incurred in growing crops, including labor, seeds, fertilisers, etc.
Selling Prices Market prices at which crops are sold.
Historical Data Records of crop yields, prices, and other relevant factors.
Wastage Rates The rate at which crops are wasted or spoiled during harvesting or storage.
Prediction Model Utilises collected data to forecast crop yields, profitability, etc.
Recommended Crops Suggestions provided by the prediction model for the most suitable crops to grow in specific locations.
Farmer Income Enhanced through recommendations of profitable crops.

AI in Food Processing

What is India’s next plan?

India plans to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) more in food processing to help farmers earn more. At the same time, lessens the environmental impact. At the conference organised recently by NIFTEM, India’s senior bureaucrats and government advisors stressed the need to deploy AI tools, in the country’s massive food processing industry.

Additionally, efficient food processing is “climate-smart” as it helps enhance farmer income, satisfy consumers and reduce environmental impact amid increasing climate change challenges. AI tools can help improve overall sector efficiency. It can push India closer to its aim of net zero emissions by 2070.

How are AI and Robotics changing the Food Industry? 

Advancements in AI and Robotics are helping to change every facet of the food industry, from farm to table. 

Area  Description
Agriculture Help with precision techniques, automated monitoring and boosting harvest yield.
Food Manufacturing Streamline production process, ensure quality, reduce waste and enhance food security standards
Food Packaging Enable efficient packaging and quality assurance through image recognition and defect detection.
Cooking AI-powered kitchen appliances and robots assist in meal preparation.
Food Delivery Optimise delivery routes, predict demand and enhance customer experience.
Supply Chain Administration AI-driven analytics improve supply chain visibility, forecasting, and inventory management.
Creating New Products Analyse consumer preferences and market trends in food products, flavours, and formulations.
Food Sorting Options AI technology automates the sorting process to ensure product quality, safety, and compliance.

How AI & Robotics Are Changing Food Industry

The Bottom Line

Integrating AI in Food Processing is gaining traction as India aims to reduce agricultural wastage and enhance farmer income. With 16 per cent of India’s agricultural produce going to waste, AI can help by analysing data on soil type, crop yield, costs, prices, and historical trends to recommend suitable crops and improve profitability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is AI important in Food Processing?

One of the biggest benefits of AI in the food industry is improvement in quality control. It helps identify and detect defects in food products.

How is AI transforming the food industry?

AI in the food industry optimises production schedules, predicts demand patterns, and streamlines resource allocation.

What is an example of AI in food?

Domino’s and McDonald’s have successfully integrated AI-powered voice assistants into their service models in-store and drive-throughs.

How is AI used in food delivery apps?

The Automated Recommendations feature in food delivery apps is a facet of Artificial Intelligence. It recommends food items or restaurants to users based on their tastes, order history, location and other essential information.

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