Food informatics: Review of the current state-of-the-art, revised definition, and classification into the research landscape

Informatics, the study of information processing and management, has moved into many industries over the past few decades, and the food manufacturing and testing field is no different. Food informatics has evolved as a sub-branch of informatics that assesses how food-related activities can be improved for not only manufacturers but also consumers, using information technologies. This 2021 paper by Krupitzer and Stein examines the state of food informatics and proposes an updated definition that encompasses the state-of-the-art in food technologies and how they are used in the manufacturing and research landscape. After discussing numerous concepts important to food informatics, the authors propose their own definition and discuss how it applies to the practical use of tools like autonomous robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), predictive maintenance, and more. They conclude that while “various research streams focus on different aspects of the production process … they miss the methods and approaches that can be applied across several steps along the food production process.” They add that the mindful addition of technologies like AI and IoT has high potential “to optimize the various aspects and processes concerning food production, consumption, and security.”

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