Zero Waste

Using artificial intelligence in the fight against food waste

Using artificial intelligence to fight food waste is now possible in Italy where Elior’s teams have forged a partnership with Winnow Solutions to develop a highly innovative solution.

Elior’s teams in Italy have launched a pilot project in one of their restaurants in Milan to test Winnow Vision’s artificial intelligence solution. This technology is able to identify and analyze all types of food waste so as to help our chefs understand where and how they can intervene to reduce food waste.

A camera installed above each trash bin captures images of the food wasted. The system includes a digital set of scales connected to an optical recognition system, the images of which are
processed by artificial intelligence. Everything that is thrown out is then weighed, identified and categorized automatically, before being transformed into a precise set of data that is extremely detailed in terms dates, times and weight for chefs to consult in the form of daily and weekly reports, or via an application.  This makes it possible to optimize incoming raw materials, make shopping-list adjustments, educate consumers, and recycle waste.

To empower the guests, they are the ones who put the rest of their tray in a specific bin. The weight of the waste is displayed in real time. Since the installation of Winnow and the deployment of the action plan in the pilot restaurant, there has been a 60% reduction in waste!

Given that a third of the food produced in the world goes to waste, it is understandable why food waste is a major issue for the catering sector. The difficulty is often being able to precisely measure how much food is wasted in a kitchen: culinary teams busy preparing and serving meals have little time to analyze what is actually being thrown away. This is where Winnow technology has demonstrated its usefulness by offering a concrete solution to a real problem.


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