IT for food companies: smart search

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research’s IT applications enable smart search for food manufacturers and retailers, supporting proactive and effective decision making.

What is the key to early identification of food safety risks? How do you catch up with innovations already patented elsewhere in the world? What changes in legislation and regulations are in the pipeline? Which interventions can help reduce food waste? Knowing what is trending around the world is vital for food manufacturers and retailers. However, nowadays we can easily drown in the ocean of data on the web and in numerous other data stores. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops smart IT applications that help navigate this ocean. We are expert in translating every aspect of food knowledge into simple, effective software. Software that helps companies to quickly and easily get the data they need to make the right decisions.

Semantics

At Wageningen Food & Biobased Research we have a unique, integrated approach. By combining state-of-the-art expertise in web semantics with agrifood expertise, we can deliver advanced software innovations specifically tailored to the needs of food manufacturers and retailers.

Our IT applications for smart search consist of two elements. First, we use built-in background knowledge to help companies to ask the right questions. For example, if a search term includes the word ‘citrus’, results will automatically include alternatives, such as 'orange' or 'lemon'.
Second, we use that same background knowledge to target the search, ensuring that we only find results relevant to the searcher.

Digital platforms

During the last ten years, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has helped many companies to develop their smart search capabilities. For the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for example, we created a digital platform about alternative protein sources – incorporating their specialist knowledge – that has proved invaluable in optimising results while reducing search times.

MatchX is a patented system that recognises products via unique 'digital fingerprints', making barcodes redundant. The system was developed for supermarkets, but could also be of interest for food manufacturers.
Another application, sCore, tailors the search process to the needs of innovators and innovation consultants. Ideal for finding innovation partners and the latest news on cutting-edge innovations, the technology behind sCore is also behind a new system for early detection of food safety risks.

Projects

Publications