Scientists from the Sheffield Hallam National Center for Excellence in Food (NCEFE) and the University of Bradford’s School of Engineering and Informatics will work with Rakusen to transform production methods and help reduce emissions and consumption. of energy by 60 percent.
The project will also support the 100-year-old cracker and biscuit business in the UK to meet demand for growth in international markets and achieve net zero targets.
The two-year project, funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, aims to transform Rakusen using digital technology and food science to minimize the company’s carbon footprint and maximize capacity without the need to existing machines are being changed.
The business currently uses old equipment, which provides limited production control and limits the introduction of new product lines. .
Through this project, machine intelligence will capture knowledge and skills, moving to intelligent decision-making to help significantly reduce energy consumption, carbon footprint and material waste.
The project will also have a positive impact on the workforce by raising the skills of staff through training and cultural change, as well as an impact at the regional level, as most ingredients are delivered locally.
Rakusen Managing Director Andrew Simpson said: “The company was excited to work with two prominent Yorkshire-based academic institutions to modernize our manufacturing process to improve our sustainability while supporting our heritage-based offering.
NCEFE’s vision is to be internationally recognized for excellence in sustainable innovation for the global food system.
Professor Martin Haworth, Director of NCEFE in Sheffield Hallam, said: “Our research is focused on improving sustainability and reducing food waste. Working with Rakusen’s and their material suppliers, we will use artificial intelligence techniques to provide new, high-efficiency and low-energy processing techniques to improve the consistency and durability of Rakusens’ traditional baked goods using ingredients from the local region. ”
Dr Savas Konur, a computer science reader at the University of Bradford, said: “We will make full use of digital technologies, including big data, the industrial Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, as well as food science, to minimize our carbon footprint. and to maximize our capacity without having to change the existing legacy machine and lose its “heritage” identity.
“The project will address the challenges of energy sustainability, productivity, operational efficiency, capacity constraints and waste in the bakery industry and will also contribute to achieving the UK’s net zero targets.