Improving Food Safety with VR and AR Food Services

Food and beverage is one of the largest industrial sectors across the world. Increasing population, rising disposable income, and rapid economic growth have resulted in strong growth of this industry. Within the year 2022, the global market for food and beverage is expected to touch almost $10,000 billion. This growing market brings significant opportunities as well as risk factors to the industry players.

The food industry players have always had to deal with the highest levels of regulatory standards. With a growing demand for niche products and variety, the companies have a serious need to enhance their service capabilities. This is why the implementation of advanced technology has now become more important than ever before. The role of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is invaluable in terms of improving food safety and worker safety.

Training of New Employees: New employee onboarding and training is a time consuming and expensive endeavour in any industry. During this phase, it is important for the organisations to impart the required skillsets. Similarly, the employees must be able to retain those skillsets.

The consequences of a failed onboarding and training can be devastating for a food related business. For example, an assembly line error may lead to faulty products, worker and customer injuries, product recalls, and much more.

VR can be used to provide an entirely new training experience to employees. This is true whether they are engaged in coffee brewing or pizza cutting.

Food processing companies that have already started using VR-based employee training have done extremely well in terms of employee retention. Virtual reality has helped employers achieve a retention rate of 80% one year after completion of training. This rate is a lowly 20% for food businesses using traditional training techniques.

The food processing industry is known to be an employment sector with high turnover. It is possible to make the workers feel more engaged and better prepared for their work by using VR technology. This can reduce employee churn significantly.

Reduction of Food Processing Errors: The utility of augmented reality in maintenance, manufacturing, and other sectors is already well established. For example, AR headsets can be provided to an automotive plant’s assembly line workers. This would provide them detailed breakdowns of their task through a digital overlay in their peripheral vision.

AR headsets can provide employees with a superimposed list of processing or inspection tasks to follow. This is particularly useful as workers prepare food items in food and beverage manufacturing,

It is important to note that augmented reality alone can’t bring the number of food product recalls to zero. However, the implementation of this technology minimises the likelihood of inspectors and line workers missing critical packaging or processing steps. These mistakes often lead to spoilage or contamination.

Food Preparation Learning Curve: In the culinary world, there are numerous food products that are extremely dangerous. This is if proper measures and specific steps are not followed during preparation. Some examples of products that can cause illness include: kidney beans, cashews, multiple root vegetables, various species of fish, and elderberries. This is assuming the correct steps are not taken before consumption.

Most of these items are known as luxury food, and have specialised cooking procedures to make them fit for human consumption. Any failure to do that can easily lead to immediate health issues. The likelihood of these incidents can be reduced significantly by using augmented reality. It can assist the chefs with ongoing reminders and guidance without diverting their attention from work.

Efficient Warehousing: One of the emerging trends in the global food industry is the rising demand for ordering food online. Many of today’s consumers are also interested in ordering even highly perishable foodstuffs online. It has always been a struggle for the food industry to maintain operations in the perishable food and beverage supply chain. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 600 million people fall ill around the world every year because of foodborne issues.

This problem can’t be solved entirely by augmented reality. However, the technology can significantly reduce a major potential source of contamination and spoilage. Use of AR headsets by the order pickers can address less efficient packing and picking operations.

  • With AR headsets, employees can receive visual prompts readily. This will help them quickly find out the designated stow locations after receiving refrigerated freight.
  • The ability to locate the pick locations more efficiently.

Employees will be able to quickly and efficiently navigate warehousing locations with visual cues they receive from AR. This will significantly reduce the likelihood of food products remaining stuck in warmer areas. It also reduces the instances of food coming into contact with pathogens and noncompliant temperatures.

These were just a few examples of how a food processing unit can benefit from AR and VR technologies. Please contact us at Lumix, if you are looking for any solution related to your unit’s service, ingredients, and machinery. We offer end-to-end solutions that are best for the industrial food and meat processing industry.