Retailer says new technology can cope with variations in product shelf-life and make far more accurate predictions 

Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn says its strawberry supply chains can be “smarter and more efficient” thanks to new artificial Intelligence and algorithms that reduce food waste and predict how long the fruit will last.

According to the retailer, growers that supply its Beter voor Natuur & Boer range now use a scanner that can gauge the strawberries shelf-life more precisely than before.

“Accurately predicting shelf-life was not possible until recently,” the group explains, “which is why strawberries were given a standard shelf-life code. In practice, the shelf-life of each harvest varies due to factors such as weather conditions. As we all know, sometimes strawberries last for three days, sometimes a whole week.”

With the use of AI technology, growers now know the exact shelf-life of each strawberry harvest. And Albert Heijn says this will mean 70 tonnes less of the fruit will be wasted.

The company intends to apply the technology to other types of fruit as well, to further reduce food waste in those areas.