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GRAINCARE: Grain spoilage reduction using advanced analytics and sensors

Rice is the second most produced food grain in the world with a world production of nearly 500 million tons of rice per year.  Once harvested, the grains, in most cases, present a water level content higher than that required for its optimum conservation.  Drying is intended to sufficiently reduce the moisture content of the grains to ensure favourable conditions for storage or subsequent processing of the product.  However, if the moisture level is not correct during storage and production, it could lead to economic losses due to germination, mould development, proliferation of insects and other issues.

The main objective of the GRAINCARE project was the design and development of a robust, low-cost, simple and automated, paddy monitoring system to estimate the moisture level inside grains during the storage phase.  The moisture content of rice paddies is estimated by correlating it to the ambient moisture and temperature level provided by the units.

Brunel Innovation Centre (BIC)'s role encompassed sensors suite development and sensor location optimisation, encapsulations design and prototyping, creation of moisture determining algorithms and assisting with field deployment. 

The technology developed within the project is based on the use of wireless sensor nodes to measure humidity and temperature around the warehouse, reporting continuously to the cloud and predicting moisture content.  This delivers multiple benefits because it avoids human intervention, improves the storage process and reduces the spoilage of rice paddies.  Therfore, the system meets the need for precision farming, allowing continuous, detailed monitoring of crops.

Partners: Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, TN Foodgrains Marketing Yard, NquiringMinds and BIC (Brunel University London and TWI)

GRAINCARE secured funding from Innovate UK.

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