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Internet of Things


example, they can increase the effectiveness of pesticides and fer tilisers or monitor the needs of individual animals and adjust their nutrition accordingly. Gas sensing can be used in smart


farming for a number of purposes. For example, modern systems have been developed for controlled environment horticulture that are designed to further optimise the growing conditions of crops. They use sophisticated gas sensors that can be connected to the internet in order to control not only the temperature, light level and water, but also the level of nutrients, humidity, pH and Carbon Dioxide within the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide enrichment through controlling the environment is required in large glass greenhouses


when the CO2 present in the air becomes depleted as this slows down the photosynthesis process and reduces productivity. Furthermore, CO2 monitoring


plays a vital role in the preservation of stored grains and cereals. Gas sensors can detect changes in temperature and moisture levels in grain storage, which is crucial for quality and edibility. This is because insects and mould are dependent on the temperature and moisture of the stored grains. Some moulds release mycotoxins which are harmful to humans because they can suppress the immune system, reduce nutrient absorption and even be lethal. When connected to the internet, this data can help to monitor and optimise production, significantly reduce


food spoilage, and highlight changing environmental factors.


Smart Packaging and gaS SenSorS The development of emerging smart packaging technologies have been greatly accelerated in recent years. This involves the incorporation of gas sensors into food packaging for the real-time monitoring of food quality. Through the precise control of


the package’s gaseous environment, the shelf life of the product can be extended without the requirement of adding chemical preservatives or stabilisers. The ageing process is slowed down which reduces colour loss, odour and off-taste resulting from product deterioration, spoilage and rancidity that can be caused by mould and anaerobic organisms. As a result, manufacturers will have more control over product quality, availability and costs. They can eliminate product rotation, removal and restocking which will reduce labour and waste disposal costs. Furthermore, distribution territories can be widened and product replacement cycles extended which reduces production replacement demands. As a result, overall profits will be maximised. When connected to the internet,


alerts can be sent out to food manufactures and the data can be collated and analysed to be used for making improvements and alterations to packaging methods.


Edinburgh Sensors edinburghsensors.com


Instrumentation Monthly November 2020 55


Process measurement and digital solutions to improve business performance.


Our solutions, services and world-class technology harness human expertise and quality data for better measurement, more meaningful analysis and enhanced performance.


Make smarter decisions


Find out more at: smarter-decisions.co.uk


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