An innovative system for redistribution of surplus food products
The redistribution of surplus food products to address inequalities in an innovative way is the objective of SIVEQ, Sistema Integrato di Valorizzazione delle Eccedenze alimentari nel Quartiere, or Integrated System for the Distribution of Surplus Food Products in the Neighbourhood.
Given the coexistence of poverty and wastage, the team aims at developing methods and technologies for redistributing surplus food items to local charitable organizations, who in turn distribute them to people in need.
The project idea is based on the use of emerging technologies for collecting and processing data regarding food surpluses in supermarkets and to develop a collection process which reduces wastage to a minimum.
The ultimate goal is to create a software and hardware platform for optimizing the process of recovering food surpluses that is cost-effective, repeatable and adaptable to a wide range of different contexts.
The platform will collect information on the quantity and state of the items and how close they are to their expiry date using scanners. The information is read directly from the packaging using the GS1-DataBar, a new barcode standard that makes it possible to keep track of additional information for each product.
It will be also possible to take photographs to verify the state of the packaging. The software installed on the devices provided to staff automatically uploads the information to the web.
The SIVEQ project is one of the winners of the 2017 Polisocial Award, the theme of which was the valorization of urban areas. The project scientific coordinator is Maurizio Magarini from the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, while the project manager is Giulia Bartezzaghi from the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, both from POLIMI.