Home Goals02 - Zero hunger Photonics for save and nutritious food: How spectroscopy is supporting the zero hunger goals

Photonics for save and nutritious food: How spectroscopy is supporting the zero hunger goals

by Photonics4

In our quest for a hunger-free world, photonics emerges as a key enabling technology in ensuring that everyone has access to safe and nutritious food. In this article we will deep dive into the capabilities of spectroscopy as a tool for enhancing quality control, supporting sustainable agriculture, and reducing food waste.

Understanding Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is a measurement technique that uses the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation (light) to analyse and identify substances. It provides detailed information about the composition, structure, and properties of materials by examining how they interact with different wavelengths of light. Spectroscopy is a versatile tool used in a wide variety of markets, including the food industry.

Quality Control and Safety

One of the primary ways spectroscopy supports the Zero Hunger goal is through quality control and safety measures in the food industry. Food producers and manufacturers employ spectroscopic techniques to monitor the quality of raw materials, intermediate products, and final food products. This ensures that only safe and high-quality food reaches consumers, reducing foodborne illnesses and waste.

For example, near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is commonly used to determine the chemical composition of food products. It can quickly analyse the nutritional content, moisture levels, and fat content of various food items, helping producers optimize their processes and meet regulatory standards. By preventing contamination and ensuring product quality, spectroscopy aids in the production of safe and nutritious food for all.

Crop Monitoring and Precision Agriculture

To achieve sustainable food production, it’s essential to maximize crop yields while minimizing resource use. Spectroscopy has a crucial role to play in precision agriculture, which optimizes farming practices for both environmental and economic sustainability. By utilizing satellite-based spectroscopic data and portable field spectrometers, farmers can monitor crop health, assess nutrient levels in soil, and make informed decisions about irrigation and fertilization.

Spectroscopy also supports remote sensing techniques that enable early detection of pest infestations, disease outbreaks, and environmental stress factors. By addressing these challenges promptly, farmers can protect their crops and improve overall yields. This increased efficiency in agriculture contributes directly to reducing food scarcity and hunger.

Reducing Food Waste

Food waste is a significant global issue that worsens food scarcity and hunger. Spectroscopy can play a pivotal role in reducing food waste by enabling the rapid assessment of food quality and freshness. In the food supply chain, from farm to table, spectroscopic devices can determine the shelf life of products, detect spoilage, and monitor temperature and humidity conditions during transportation and storage.

By providing accurate data on the quality and freshness of food, spectroscopy helps minimize unnecessary disposal and encourages more efficient distribution. This, in turn, contributes to the goal of reducing food waste and ensuring that available resources are utilized to their fullest potential.

Photonics4 is a company dedicated to support the photonics industry.