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Australia: Breakthrough in Fruit Shelf-Life Prediction Tech

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Innovative algorithms designed to accurately predict the remaining shelf life of various mango and stone fruit varieties have been developed, and industry partners are now being sought to bring these algorithms to market. These advanced algorithms have the potential to revolutionise how growers, packers, and supply chain partners monitor and manage product freshness, thereby reducing food waste and optimising operational efficiencies.

The development of these algorithms is the result of a collaborative effort by scientists from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and Agriculture Victoria in the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), in partnership with an Australian not-for-profit research and development corporation. These algorithms are tailored to specific fruit varieties and are based on rigorous scientific methodologies, leveraging extensive laboratory research and empirical data on fruit shelf life responses under various supply chain conditions.

The technology integrates harvest quality data along with supply chain temperature and time data with variety-specific prediction algorithms. This integration facilitates informed stock management and supports a ‘first-expired, first-out’ marketing approach, ensuring more predictable fruit quality. The algorithms enable growers and supply chain partners to make better distribution and marketing decisions, enhancing the overall efficiency and reliability of the supply chain.

The Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Minister for Regional Communities emphasised the potential impact of this technology on the market. According to Furner, Queensland produces some of the best mangoes in the world, and this home-grown technology is set to bring even fresher fruit to consumers. He highlighted the importance of ensuring that fruit lovers receive the freshest fruit possible and encouraged industry partners to participate in bringing this technology to market.

The Senior Horticulturist in Supply Chain Innovation at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries expressed excitement about making the algorithms available. He emphasised that these algorithms, developed by DAF’s supply chain innovation team, will assist Australian growers and their supply chain partners in monitoring and managing product freshness. This will enable them to make informed distribution and marketing decisions, ultimately benefiting the entire industry.

The Head of Agriculture Victoria Research at DEECA noted the importance of this innovative R&D solution for the Summerfruit industry. She stated that the technology would help maintain a competitive edge and reputation in key markets. As the industry seeks new trade relationships, this technology will be crucial for informing optimal handling strategies and pathways to market.

The GM Trade & Biosecurity R&D at the R&D corporation highlighted the significance of the shelf-life prediction technology. She described it as a prime example of how the firm’s strategic partnership initiative can facilitate cross-industry investment for transformational supply chain R&D outcomes. This technology aims to improve the freshness, consistency, and reputation of Australia’s horticulture exports.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with DEECA and the corporation, is now inviting expressions of interest to identify suitable licensees to commercialise these algorithms. Licensing the intellectual property will allow all Australian mango and stone fruit producers and supply chain businesses to access the technology, enhancing their ability to monitor product freshness and make informed distribution and marketing decisions.

The goal is to integrate these algorithms into existing or planned digital platforms, refine them through data sharing, and provide feedback for future development. This initiative represents a significant step forward in leveraging technology to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the fruit supply chain, ultimately benefiting both producers and consumers.

These cutting-edge shelf-life prediction algorithms are set to transform the mango and stone fruit industry. By partnering with industry experts to commercialise this technology, the potential for reduced food waste, optimised operational efficiencies, and improved fruit quality is immense.


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