How Data Science Is Revolutionising Food Science

Can data science drive advances in food safety? Panellists in the “Data Revolution: Is Food Safety Sitting on the Sidelines?” session tackled big questions about big data in a wide-ranging IFT SHIFT20 conference conversation.

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Our CEO Cronan McNamara took part in the IFT SHIFT20 conference panel session that set out to answer important questions about the future of food safety through the use of data science. With food safety data digitising falling behind in data science implementation in areas like ops and finance, Mc Namara explained how it can be seen as an opportunity.  

“It seems like the scientific data, the lab data in these large food companies—and I’ve worked with a few—have been neglected, where … some of the operational data has been in these big databases for years … but the scientific side has been left to Excel or even PDFs. And that’s a massive opportunity.”

There is great potential in applying data science to research and testing data, however, a mindset shift and new skill-sets are required to make the most of it. “You might be wasting time repeating experiments. You might be able to predict the shelf life of a new product without having to measure it or refine down the candidates to only two or three that are actually going to work in the shelf-life trials. If you’re sending that data out to be analysed, you should be expecting it back in an XML or at least CSV format, and that can be immediately uploaded into a centralised system on the cloud somewhere,” said McNamara. “And once you start doing that, you’ll see efficiencies and you’ll see opportunities to use that data to predict new things.”

You can read the full summary of the panel session here

To access the full IFT SHIFT20 conference on-demand library sign up here

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