INVIVO – Shelf life prediction of perishable products

invivoInvivo was founded in 2000, and is developing applications in the life sciences for trace gas detectors. The company combines the hardware knowledge of different spectroscopic methods with systemic modeling approaches of living systems, and is convinced that with the innovative FIWARE platform their application will becomse successful. Their models are special, as they really use systemic characteristics of the living systems, rather than writing differential equations. They can be used to all kind of perishable products (fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, oil, etc.)


Benefits of the project

The core of the project funded by the FInish accelerator project is the online prediction of the product quality of perishable products while the product charge is processed. The customers are all parties along the logistic chain, starting from the producer and ending at the retailer. The main benefit for the customers is that the actual product quality of a specific charge in a specific chain link of the logistic chain is available. This information can be used to predict the shelf-life. It can be used to modify the logistics online or it can help save energy by adapting the cooling conditions to the real needs. The innovative aspect of the project is, that every product charge is treated as an individual charge where the ratio between product quality and allocated energy consumption (logistics, climatic conditions) is maximized. This leads to an overall improvement of the product quality in the logistics chain.

The idea of the project is very near to the initial concept of Dr Gäbler, when he started up the company fifteen years ago. After the PhD thesis he looked for a commercial application for his trace gas detectors. The result was an international patent (EU and US), which protects large parts of the project idea. An idea that was refined in several iterations according to his experiences with potential customers, and that is now ready for realization. Fifteen years ago nobody cared about ethylene detection in the logistic chain, about energy savings and a better energy allocation. But now things start to change…


Finding the right business partner

Dr Gäbler presented the idea “Logistics 4.0” and shelf-life prediction at the Fruitlogistica 2014 within his own booth. Among the fair visitors of the booth was also the right company that would become his business partner: FloraHolland. They directly understood the potential of the idea and both parties wanted to look for a possibility to test the approach inside their processes. This possibility became a reality thanks to the FInish call for proposals.

They followed the advice of their mentors to start with their own application first, and wrote the prediction algorithm in JAVA. Up to now they used the IDAS GE. The dream is that by the year 2020 the application is used by around 10% of the complete logistic chain of flowers and that the use in other logistic chains will have started successfully.