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  • 1.
    Abdiju, Kushtrim
    Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för teknik (FTK), Institutionen för datavetenskap och medieteknik (DM).
    Exploring a New Way of Food Inventory Management in Households Using Modern Technologies to Reduce Food Waste2019Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (masterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    Food waste is becoming an increasing threat to the environment and the economy. Estimates indicate that annually, a third of the food produced around the world ends up being wasted. Only one-fourth of that food is enough to take nearly a billion people out of starvation. Food waste is especially higher in more developed countries, including most of the states in the European Union and the USA. Sector-wise, food is being lost from field to fork, with households topping the charts. Overbuying, not knowing what already is in the fridge, unaware of the food until it eventually expires, are among the most common reasons that contribute to the food waste. The potential prevention of such massive waste could significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions around the world and help the economy of the households including all the parties involved in food production, distributing and retailing.

    On the other hand, technology has progressed in very rapid steps. The advancement of AI, ML, IoT, and voice-enabled devices has revolutionized many industries and has made us more efficient as human beings. Unfortunately, these advancements haven't yet had any significant impact in assisting families with their food choices and in preventing them from overbuying and throwing food away. Most of the proposed solutions addressing this issue, do not get integrated into everyday life. That is because they require a lot of manual input, rely entirely on mobile phones, do not show immediate results to keep users motivated, and on top of all, for the sole fact that modern lives are quite complex, and although an important issue, food waste is not an everyday cause of concern of an average person.

    This thesis takes into account all of the shortcomings of the previous works and aims to create a more sustainable solution by exploring new ways of food inventory management in the households by automating the process so that users don't have to manually enter the data themselves. The proposed solution consists of a device that should be easily mounted into any fridge and acts as an interface between users and their food inventory. The device contains a bar-code scanner for the item input and a back-end that is capable of recognizing the item and can in return show user-friendly and valuable information such as the approximate price of the item, the approximate due date etc. and notifies users when an item is about to expire so that they can take appropriate actions.

    7 out of 9 participants in the final conceptual design study said they would use this solution in their homes. The rest of the results from the designed test cases indicate a clear excitement and interest in participants and a willingness to see the prototype in the finished state, all the comments and insights together with the future work and how the feedback will be used into the next iteration are part of the final discussion of this thesis.

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