Today the Agri-Food Industry is developing its Innovation process on three main pillars. One enabling new technology for food safety and integrity of agricultural food chains, the second one developing the sustainability of agricultural food chain and the last one a nutritional enhacement of traditional agricultural food products.
Within this Innovation Pillars we are witnessing new cutting-edge Agri-Food technologies and methods. Digital technology (IoT) can help this sector through livestock monitoring. As good example we have the start up CYNOMYS (http://www.cynomys.it) that provides an integrated system for environmental monitoring through IoT sensor networks that work 24/7 and produce alarm signals in case of danger or when values exceed a defined threshold (Stable Kit).
At molecular level we have innovations that positively impact metabolic problems. The biotechnology start up ARTA PEPTIDION (http://www.artapeptidion.it) works on short peptides that may have an advantage over large proteins in terms of their application across several areas as the agriculture. The Bioactive Peptides are Peptides (i.e. limited protein constituents of low amino acids) obtained through nutrition that, in addition to being merely nutritional, also exert a biological activity on the body. They can bind to cells receptors that regulate specific metabolic processes. Peptides can have an effect on lipid metabolism facilitating cholesterol mobility.
In the squeezing machines sector the technological advances that have been made by Presses to Centrifuges have caused a qualitative drop in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The old presses system with a squeeze press brought logistic limits and non-economic approaches (excessive use of labor & high costs of wear components). In the modern centrifugal system, the main limit is the principle on which the technology is based: the high number of rpm to which the oleary mixture undergoes and the resulting organoleptic impoverishment of the product obtained, as well as the high costs for the purchase of the equipment. With the startup BIOSPREMI (http://www.biospremi.it) we reach a compromise that solves the problems of wear components, is it pressed in an airlock and therefore does not damage the olive oil and the oil mixture does not go into contact to the oil oxygen because it works in this airlock and doeas not undergo centrifuges.
Another Innovation is the use of social tools to bring farmers and consumers closer. The startup YOUFARMERS (http://www.youfarmers.com) is a Co-Farming platform to connect Biological and/or Biodynamic certified agricultural excellence Farms and Consumers. The Consumers have the opportunity of own temporary a Bio Vegetable Garden for re-discovering Earth’s values. Through the application the Consumer has the opportunity to monitor the vegetable garden and to be warned when the crop is ready to be picked up.
The world population is expected to reach 9 billion inhabitants by 2050. Producing food to feed such a large population will significantly increase & stress the production and the environment. It will be furthermore difficult to find skilled and motivated workers and to keep the production costs low. To meet this important challenges, Innovation in the agri-food sector is of utmost importance. Another important direction is towards increasing Automation and Robotisation of the industry to increase the efficiency of its processes, reduce waste and costs, and improve food quality and safety.