Synap IoT: 

 Preventing Food Waste

United Nations

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for "halving global per capita food waste at retail and consumer level by 2030 and reducing food losses along the production and supply chain, including post-harvest losses". Even if none of us would ever think of throwing a third of our weekly shopping directly into the garbage - statistically speaking, this is exactly the amount that ends up unused in the bin at some point. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, this amounts to around 1.3 billion tons of food per year worldwide.
At the same time, more than 820 million people are starving - a scandal, because food wastage in industrialized countries has something to do with the plight of many people in developing countries. Yet it is not at all difficult to take a first step in a different direction and throw away less food. But if you look deeper, you see: The situation is even more dramatic with some foods. And even small losses during harvest, transport or sale are a major challenge. After all, arable land is limited - and must be as productive as possible in order to supply our growing population with sufficient food.

Considering that more than 820 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat and are starving, the amount we throw away seems incomprehensible - an exorbitant waste of food. People in Africa and southern Asia, on the other hand, throw away hardly anything at all. But even there, there are large food losses of more than 40 percent after the harvest and during the following steps, because food is insufficiently stored, packed and cooled.


Food waste in Europe

In Germany alone, around 10-14 million tonnes of food are wasted every year. That is about 55-80 kilograms per capita. A large proportion of food waste could be avoided with simple solutions. In order to produce this amount, a cultivated area of about 2.4 million hectares would be necessary, the area of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Another 56 kilograms of food per capita and year are lost by industry, trade and large-scale consumers. More detailed investigations into the amount of cultivated products that are destroyed because they do not have the properties that industry needs or that consumers find attractive are still pending. But surveys of farmers and the food industry indicate that every second head of lettuce and every second potato remains in the field, and every fifth loaf of bread ends up in the trash instead of on the table.
For Europe, the authors of the FAO study estimate an annual per capita loss over the entire value chain of 280 to 300 kilograms. Europeans and North Americans throw away between 95 and 115 kilograms of food per year in their households, mainly fruit and vegetables, although a large part would still be edible. Added to this are mountains of food that the retail trade sorts out.

Enough for everyone 

Every day, global agriculture produces 4,600 kilocalories of food per capita of the world's population - more than enough for every person. However, much of this is lost because plant-based food is fed to animals or destroyed by transport and storage losses. In total, 56 percent of the calories are lost along these routes, and only an average of 2,000 kilocalories are available for direct human consumption.

While food losses in the production process are a technical problem, it is a scandal that food is thrown away or even destroyed. This scandal is often only caused by thoughtlessness. According to estimates of the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, 222 million tons of food are lost to human nutrition every year in the rich countries alone due to waste. That is almost the entire food production of sub-Saharan Africa.

Causes of food waste

Whether it's the mouldy sausage in your home refrigerator, the oversized portion in the restaurant or the not so nice looking fruit that is denied the nicely lit stage in the supermarket: Thrown-away food can be found everywhere in the chain between production and end consumer. The exact causes of food waste are manifold. 

  • In agriculture, products spoil due to incorrect storage, pest infestation, they are destroyed by storms or have to be disposed of because there are not enough buyers on the market.

  • In industry, most food losses are caused by transport damage, incorrect storage and technical causes in production. Internal quality assurance and overproduction also contribute to this.


  • In wholesale and retail, customer demands for a wide and visually appealing selection as well as product specifications ensure that many products fall through the cracks and are either not marketable or are left lying around to be disposed of.


  • In the catering trade, incalculable demand is a decisive factor, which, together with incorrect storage, strict hygiene and product regulations and poorly defined portion sizes (canteens), results in food waste.


  • Consumers - we all are. We have become accustomed to the fact that food is available in abundance and have lost awareness of what performance and resource or energy consumption is actually behind full shelves.


Proper storage & Transport

Trade gives us what we want. Because everything is always there, leftovers are thrown away, products are not stored properly or simply forgotten somewhere in the shallows of a full fridge. We buy in abundance and then throw the fruit away because it has dented spots or dispose of products that have exceeded the best-before date for a week.

Our habits of consumption and nutrition play a major role when it comes to food waste. If we are not prepared to plan our shopping better, to buy crooked, visually unattractive vegetables or to realise that the counter is no longer full at closing time, we cannot put an end to food waste. 

Contrary to the frequently circulated opinion that the best before date is an expiry date, it is in fact a marker. It indicates the date up to which a food product that has not yet been opened should be guaranteed to retain typical characteristics such as taste, colour or nutritional value. The prerequisite for this is correct storage.


Intelligent storage 

Planning, correct storage and conscious handling of food can therefore already help to reduce the amount of food that ends up in the trash.

Intelligent refrigerators and non-invasive temperature monitoring technology, which documents the cold chain and ensures that the refrigerator is running properly and is maintained properly & predictively, contributes to significantly fewer breakdowns and longer shelf life of food. Often at the slightest uncertainty an entire batch is written off if there is a risk of cold chain breakage. In addition, if a refrigerator, freezer or container fails, everything is disposed of - on average 50kg of food. Over the lifetime of a refrigerator, several failures are common, which are usually due to the following errors and causes: 

  • Dusty or clogged condenser

  • Compressor failure

  • Pressure drops from the refrigerant

  • Refrigerant contamination

  • Leakage in the system

  • loss of function

  • Failures of mechanical temperature controllers

  • Cooling container not closed properly

With SynapIoT's patented predictive maintenance algorithm we can predict all these scenarios 2-4 weeks in advance. The service technician can be called in early to resolve the pending malfunction and ensure that the contents and the entire refrigeration unit is rescued. This is a great benefit for the environment and health. In addition, the main refrigerant gases used are R404A, R134a and R1234yf in transport and commercial refrigeration systems, and in refrigerators and freezers.


Innovative Technology 


These gases are so toxic and harmful to the environment that from 1 January 2020 it is prohibited by EU regulation (EU F-Gas regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases) to use the refrigerant R404A in existing refrigeration systems, and from 1 January 2022 to market commercial refrigerators and freezers with the refrigerant R134a. By 2025, further refrigeration appliances containing particularly climate-damaging F-gases will be gradually withdrawn from the market. The quantity of partly fluorinated hydrocarbons (HFCs) sold will be gradually reduced to one fifth of the current quantity by 2030. This is an unavoidable changeover to less climate-damaging refrigerants.


R1234yf (HFO-1234yf) is a pure molecule refrigerant with a GWP value <1 (GWP = Global Warming Potential). Researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich have found that the refrigerant R1234yf is even more dangerous than previously thought. Besides a very high greenhouse effect, the refrigerant contains the highly toxic substance carbonyl fluoride (COF2). Carbonyl fluoride (COF2) is a derivative of the warfare agent phosgene, which was used cruelly in the First World War. According to the LMU, it could cause irreparable damage if inhaled.


For these reasons, we believe that refrigeration equipment should be properly monitored, conscientiously and with foresight.

Less waste & more appreciation

To bring the issue of food waste into the focus of general attention, we propose the following topics:

  • To critically review political hurdles and barriers that have arisen in the food trade.

  • To ensure more gentle and safe food transport, tamper-proof and intelligent cold chain monitoring, automatic temperature recording systems to document correct storage and to have less waste.

  • Reduce allocation and transport costs to ensure that food is delivered economically to where it is needed.

  • To defuse existing standards for the shape and appearance of, for example, vegetables and fruit in order to increase supply and demand for these products.

  • Minimizing food waste through intelligent on-demand ordering, including between shops in the immediate vicinity. IoT sensor technology could be used to determine different shelf positions and automatically send requests to central warehouses or neighboring shops.

  • Counteracting food waste through government funding to support digitisation and the use of intelligent systems.

  • Raise awareness among citizens for more self-responsibility towards the environment in order to encourage proactive action and the purchase of seasonal and regional products.

  • Promoting research and development, for example to create intelligent packaging with shelf life information.

  • Promoting increased consumption of plant-based foods in order to achieve a significantly lower environmental impact compared to animal products.



Technology for a better tomorrow 

We offer Automatic Temperature logging and monitoring for owners of Commercial Coolers, Freezers and Airconditions. 

Do you want to save time, money and eliminate manual temperature logging from Coolers and Freezers? ​

We automate the logging, create the reports for the authorities and make them available to you every day. So, for your next audit visit, all your compliance documentation is available and compliant.

Through machine learning and predictive maintenance, the pattern of your cooling unit is constantly analyzed so that any irregularities are detected very early.

Warning and alerts are a part of the SynCore monitoring subscription, which means that if the refrigerator changes it normal pattern, if the temperature does not regulate right over a period of time and if the temperature keeps rising and getting close to a set critical level, you will get an instant notification in form of an email and a text message.​


In the setup phase we assist you in setting the right parameters. SynCore, our platform, will through machine learning learn the pattern of your cooling unit so that any irregularities can be detected very early.




SynLab:IoT is the research and development center of SynapIoT. Here we work on synergies from the combination of the disciplines of engineering, software, mathematics to implement applied research and development. In cooperation with our project partners and our clients, we help to realize ground-breaking and innovative projects and thus create comparative advantages through digitization.


Here you can get inspiration from our IoT modular system. We offer you a variety of more than 400 sensors, transmission technologies and hardware specifications. Please let us know what your challenge is, together we will find the best solution in the sea of ​​possibilities.

Patented Algorithm

Predictive maintenance

We can predict the following possible errors in the cooling system with our predictive and preventive maintenance algorithm:


  • Dusty or clogged condenser

  • Compressor failure

  • Pressure drops from the refrigerant

  • Refrigerant contamination

  • Leakage in the system

  • loss of function

  • Failures of mechanical temperature controllers

  • Cooling container not closed properly


In the setup phase, we support you in setting the relevant parameters. Our SynCore ™ platform, through machine learning and artificial intelligence, gets to know your cooling unit better and better, so that irregularities can be detected earlier and earlier so that a service technician can address the problem to prevent your cooling unit from being damaged or even failing.

© Synap IoT 2021