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Bühler, Microsoft to explore block-chain technology for food safety

FBR Staff Writer Published 30 April 2018

Bühler and Microsoft have partnered to evaluate the use of block-chain applications and other technologies to improve food safety and availability.

The Switzerland-based Bühler said that its inspection and processing technologies combined with digital technologies offered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud, artificial intelligence and block-chain technologies will help in creating transparency and improved efficiency across food value chains.

The companies plan to introduce cloud-based solutions to remove contaminated grains and to quickly introduce new services to enhance the availability of safe and healthy food.

Bühler said the new technologies like block-chain applications have a vast potential to allow full traceability within food value chains and could play an important role in ensuring food integrity and in curbing food fraud.

Microsoft worldwide manufacturing general manager Çaglayan Arkan said: “Bühler impressively demonstrates that manufacturers can be digital innovators, by strategically combining their industry-specific know-how with artificial intelligence, intelligent cloud and IoT solutions.”

The Bühler- Microsoft partnership was announced at Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany. At the recently held trade show for industrial technology, Bühler launched LumoVision, an optical sorting technology that can detect presence of aflatoxin, a toxin that is known to contaminate harvested grain.

LumoVision identifies the toxin based on direct indicators of contamination, while simultaneously taking the help of real-time, cloud-based data to monitor and assess risk of contamination.

Bühler claims that the new optical sorting technology can help in removing up to 90% of contamination, thereby bringing down yield loss to under 5%.

The company is also partnering with Microsoft on creating digital technologies to help in minimizing toxic contamination, decreasing food waste and enhancing end product quality across the whole food value chain.

Bühler board of directors chairman Calvin Grieder said: “By interweaving Microsoft’s capabilities and Bühler’s innovations for food safety and availability, we strive to stand up to some of the most pressing issues in the global food system.”

Image: Bühler chairman Calvin Grieder and Microsoft’s Çaglayan Arkan. Photo: courtesy of Buhler AG.