Food Waste, Date Labelling and Technology : A Survey Study

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC); KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Author: Malin Larsson; Julia Duong; [2017]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This thesis investigates what an united voice of the society thinks of their part in food waste, if it correlates with reality and what the attitude is to reducing it with intelligent technology. In developed countries, like Sweden, food waste is one component that affect the environment a great amount. By reducing food waste in the house- holds a major difference can be made. Earlier studies has shown that one problem is that people do not know the difference between best before date and use by date and therefore tend to throw away food that is still good to eat. The margins when it comes to food with best before date are often big and one important factor of a products durability is how it has been treated when it comes to temperature changes. Intelligent packaging can be defined as "Packaging that contains an exter- nal or internal indicator to provide information about aspects of the history of the package and/or the quality of the food". One function such packaging can have is dynamic date labelling. By implementing sensors in the food container the temperature over time can be measured and the predicted growth of microor- ganisms can be calculated. This would make the date labelling more precise. These sensors, for example Radio Frequency Identification tags or nanosen- sors, can send information to computers and applications that the consumer can use to get more accurate information regarding the quality of a product. This could help reducing food waste. A survey was conducted and spread on social media and two people were interviewed as experts since they are working with questions related to sustainable development and food waste in Sweden. The result shows that people think much about not throwing away food but earlier researches show that people do, which is a contradiction. In gen- eral people are positive to new technology and using it but they are not will- ing to pay for it. It can be argued that intelligent technology will be a part of reducing food waste in the future. 

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