Sensors and data helping to make better tasting salads

The salads eaten by millions of Australians could soon taste even better as a result of sensor and data research being carried out in Tasmania by the Sense-T NICTA Logistics Lab.

The Logistics Lab is working with local company Houston's Farm, a national leader in lettuce production, and its freight partner Fresh Freight to ensure the product arriving in supermarkets is as fresh and high-quality as possible.Houston's Farm

Researchers will use sensors and data analysis to monitor produce and freight conditions along the supply chain from Houston's Farm in Cambridge, south of Hobart, to a freight centre in Laverton, Victoria, where the lettuce is reloaded for distribution to supermarkets in Victoria and interstate by road.

Pictured, Logistics Lab Director Dr Stephen Cahoon with Houston's Farm General Manager Erik Siedler.

The project aims to track the temperature of lettuce products from harvesting to the freight centre to allow Houston's Farm to improve its loading and supply-chain processes depending on a range of variables.

Ensuring more produce arrives in the premium condition required by the exacting quality standards of the major national supermarket chains will improve shelf-life as well as efficiency and financial sustainability.

Funded by the Australian Government and industry partners, the research began in August and will be completed by March 2016.

The Logistics Lab is jointly funded by the Australian Government, through funds provided to the University of Tasmania for Sense-T from the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan, and NICTA. 

Based in the Sense-T office at the University of Tasmania's Sandy Bay campus, the Logistics Lab undertakes practical industry research into ways sensor technology and data analytics can be used to solve problems and achieve efficiencies in freight, logistics and supply chains in Tasmania.

Published on: 11 Nov 2015