Around 40 per cent of UAE’s total waste is derived from food; here’s how the ‘Smart Kitchen’ initiative could solve the issue
The Middle East’s F&B industry needs to enthusiastically embrace advanced technology to help fight the region’s growing food waste dilemma, according to experts, who will be present at Gulfood.
Speaking ahead of the Summit, two leading experts on food waste have urged the region’s F&B players that only disrupting traditional working and operational practices will combat the problem. The call came from Michael Ellis, Chief Culinary Officer of hospitality giant Jumeirah Group, and Michael Barsties, Head of Food Waste Heroes Programme of the ground-breaking Olio mobile app for food-sharing. The pair will both join a Summit panel on ‘Foodtech in the Kitchen.’
The advent of the ‘smart’ kitchen would go a long way to hugely improving industry efficiency, believes Ellis: “There are two areas where smart kitchens can have an enormous impact. Firstly, by reducing the amount of repetitive manual labour that is a big part of much of food preparation, and secondly by reducing food waste, which is to some an extent an issue for most kitchens today. These innovations will come about both by developments in kitchen equipment, but also in the use of data mining techniques to allow chefs to anticipate how many of a certain dish will be ordered on a given day based on historical trends,” he said.
Ellis, who works across Jumeirah’s international portfolio of 23 hotels, added the widespread hi-tech adoption in smart kitchens will put the region on the road to achieving zero waste. “At Jumeirah, we are looking closely at all aspects of the kitchen and raw materials management. With the scale of our operations and the commitment to excellence we have to every dish, this is a major area of interest for us. Whether it is inventory control, HAACP implementation, JIT ordering, or elsewhere, food tech is the key to more efficient and quality food operations.”
Internet disruption of the kitchen
With the industry facing up to a raft of next gen technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Barsties believes the industry is facing a major evolution in both commercial and private kitchens
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