5 New & Innovative Technologies Helping To Cut UK Food Waste

From transforming date marks to developing handy apps, technology whizz-kids are fighting the battle against food waste and changing the way we see food for good.

When considering the top ten consumer reasons for throwing food away, there still appears to be much over-stuffing of trollies and confusion over date labels. But with an estimated 60% of the nearly 2 million tonnes of surplus food created being avoidable, the chance for technological intervention is massive.

So with this in mind, we’ve put together what we think are the top five amazing fledgling food waste solutions that UK innovators have to offer.

Number 1: Smart fridges

The idea of smart fridges was actually floated as early back as the late ‘90s when a Japanese inventor unveiled one, complete with microphone and touchpad, at an exhibition in Tokyo. But only years later in 2015 did Bosch take up the idea with its Smart Connect model.

It works using cameras inside the fridge, which users connect to using the Home Connect app. This means they can see what they’ve got and can plan dinner whilst on the move. Apparently around 40% of us have no idea exactly what’s in our fridge at any one time, so this could be a real saver of money - and food - by cutting out unnecessary ‘top up’ shops.

How’s it doing so far? With not much change from £900 the Bosch Smart Connect is pretty pricey. However, it’s not totally out of reach for many and the hope is that over time the technology will become cheaper. Bosch has actually recently teamed up with Sainsbury’s to provide the fridges to twenty UK families already.

Number 2: The Olio app

Founded by students Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One, the Olio app was launched in 2015 as a way of using up leftover food. It works by connecting neighbours, local businesses and the local community to surplus food that’s on offer for sharing. Details about the leftover food on offer, including a picture, are posted on the website and people can message to claim it.

How’s it doing so far? Since launching, Olio has been downloaded more than 110,000 times with over 140,000 items of food shared. The app has now gone global too, with users in India, Africa and China.

Number 3: Using flies to turn food waste into fish food

Okay this one sounds revolting but it’s actually a great idea. It’s the brainchild of four Cambridge University graduates with backgrounds in engineering, biology, biochemistry and business, and essentially works by using an insect called the Black Soldier Fly. The fly’s larvae are fed organic waste, then converting 95% of it into complex fats and proteins during digestion. This then builds the waste up into more complex and valuable compounds, instead of it literally remaining as waste. The compounds are ideal for use in both fertiliser and animal feed, which allows for scaling up their production in a cheap, sustainable manner. For example, farmed salmon is currently fed on wild caught small fish. However, the company says that by using the flies, food waste can be turned into aquaculture feed that’s rich in Omega-3 and protein, enough to satisfy farmers and remove the requirement for this additional fishing

How’s it doing so far? Although it’s still fairly early days, the company is already collecting waste from Sainsbury’s stores in Cambridgeshire for use with its in-house demonstration system located at the county’s National Institute of Agricultural Botany. It’s also won numerous tech awards as well as a £60,000 research grant.

Number 4: April the robotic chef

April was developed by UK-based engineering company OAL, alongside experts at the University of Lincoln. The robot works by emulating a professional chef on an industrial scale - in fact April can handle ingredients, move pans and much more, just a human chef would do. According to OAL, it creates “unprecedented flexibility” during food manufacturing, offering a scalable solution as demand rises. April can essentially boost food production efficiency and precision, helping to reduce waste by eliminating ingredient errors and spillages.

How’s it doing so far? The first fully working robot is due to start work with a company in mainland Europe at some point during 2020, with the hope that UK manufacturers will start to place orders soon too.

Number 5: The Bump Mark

Inventor Solveiga Pakstaite came up with the Bump Mark as a way of helping people who are visually impaired to read date labels on food. It works by adding a gelatine label to a foodstuff which will then track its decaying process. Customers simply then need to sweep the label with their finger; a smooth surface indicates that the gelatine (and food) is still whole and good to eat, whilst a bumpy texture warns that the gelatine has deteriorated. This deterioration of the gelatine occurs at the same rate as foods that are protein based.

How’s it doing so far? Solveiga actually scooped a James Dyson Scholarship for her design back in 2014. Numerous further grants have also been secured to help in commercialising and marketing the product going forward.

Speak to the R&D experts behind Tax Cloud UK

All this innovation is great, but it’ll certainly have come at a price. The good news is however that the UK government recognises research and development can be very expensive, which is why it offers research and development (R&D) Tax Credits. The relief is offered either as a reduction on a company’s Corporation Tax, or as a cash lump sum. The scope for claiming is purposefully huge, and it’s open to all UK companies regardless of sector or industry.

Find out more on our R&D Tax Credits webpage or feel free to speak to Myriad Associates on 020 3994 2236. We are experts in all things R&D and would be happy to guide you through the claims process answering any questions you may have. We also recommend trying our Tax Cloud portal for businesses, where you can enter your own company’s figures to see what you could claim. We look forward to hearing from you.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
Latest posts
26TH MAY, 2020 How The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Brought Our Supply Chains Into Sharp Focus
19TH MAY, 2020 What Is The Future Fund?
12TH MAY, 2020 Innovation And The Race To Build Ventilators
5TH MAY, 2020 Top 7 Tips For Attracting An Angel Investor
28TH APRIL, 2020 Small Business Tips For Cash Flow During COVID-19
21ST APRIL, 2020 Top Technology Trends Set To Transform The Travel Industry Beyond 2020
15TH APRIL, 2020 Types of Business Crowdfunding
7TH APRIL, 2020 How Previous Pandemics Have Inspired Medical And Social Innovation
2ND APRIL, 2020 Imagine What £65,000 Could Do For Your Innovative Company - Think R&D Tax Credits
2ND APRIL, 2020 Tax Cloud - COVID-19 Update
24TH MARCH, 2020 What Is Entrepreneurs Relief?
17TH MARCH, 2020 How R&D Across The World Is Helping To Fight Coronavirus
11TH MARCH, 2020 Top 10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In Social Media
3RD MARCH, 2020 Top 5 Easy Ways To Speed Up An R&D Tax Relief Claim
25TH FEBRUARY, 2020 How Does Using Tax Cloud Compare To Making A DIY Claim For R&D Tax Credits?
18TH FEBRUARY, 2020 Latest Statistics Around R&D Spending In The UK Since 2017
11TH FEBRUARY, 2020 Easy Mistakes That Accountancy Firms Make Regarding R&D Tax Credits
4TH FEBRUARY, 2020 Tax Cloud Announces New Reduced Pricing
27TH JANUARY, 2020 5 Ways Charities Are Using R&D Advances In Virtual Reality
21ST JANUARY, 2020 Soft Drinks Sector - What Are The R&D Challenges?
15TH JANUARY, 2020 Science Fact: R&D and Eco-Robots
3RD JANUARY, 2020 5 New & Innovative Technologies Helping To Cut UK Food Waste
17TH DECEMBER, 2019 5 (Legal) Ways To Reduce Your Corporation Tax bill
10TH DECEMBER, 2019 Continuing Innovation After Brexit
4TH DECEMBER, 2019 8 Important Factors To Consider When Starting Up A Business
26TH NOVEMBER, 2019 Are You A Growing Business? Get Money From The Government To Help With The Costs
19TH NOVEMBER, 2019 Why Construction Companies Should Embrace R&D Tax Credits
13TH NOVEMBER, 2019 7 Most Common Misconceptions About R&D Tax Credits
5TH NOVEMBER, 2019 How Should I Allocate My Staff Time For An R&D Tax Credit Claim?
31ST OCTOBER, 2019 Do R&D Tax Credits Represent Value For Money For The Government?
22ND OCTOBER, 2019 What Are The Four Main Benefits Of R&D Tax Credits?
14TH OCTOBER, 2019 Flight Shame Has Landed - But Could R&D Be The Aviation Industry's Ticket To Greener Travel?
10TH OCTOBER, 2019 What Power Does HMRC Have Over My R&D Tax Credit Payment?
1ST OCTOBER, 2019 Why Do Some Applications For R&D Tax Relief Fail?
24TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 R&D Tax Credits: What Happens If I Need To Switch From The SME Scheme To The RDEC Scheme, Or Vice Versa
17TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 What Financial Help Is Available In The UK For Entrepreneurs?
10TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 What Consumables Can Be Claimed Under R&D Tax Relief?
3RD SEPTEMBER, 2019 How Long Does It Take For HMRC To Make A Decision On An R&D Tax Credit Claim?
29TH AUGUST, 2019 What Is The Most Efficient Way Of Submitting An R&D Tax Credit Claim?
21ST AUGUST, 2019 Are Businesses In Wales Getting The Most Out Of The R&D Tax Credits Scheme?
13TH AUGUST, 2019 How Can Companies Find Extra Money To Help Prepare For A No Deal Brexit?
6TH AUGUST, 2019 Quick Guide To R&D Tax Reliefs In Engineering
31ST JULY, 2019 Claiming R&D Tax Credits In The Healthcare sector
26TH JULY, 2019 How Can Businesses Make R&D Investment A Priority?
18TH JULY, 2019 How Will Brexit Affect R&D Tax Credits?
12TH JULY, 2019 Tax Cloud Launches In Ireland
5TH JULY, 2019 How To Claim A Critical Tax Boost For Your SME
5TH JULY, 2019 R&D Tax Credits Made Simple And Affordable
28TH JUNE, 2019 Why Are SME’s Missing Out On R&D Tax Relief
14TH JUNE, 2019 Is My SME Eligible For R&D Tax Credits?
3RD JUNE, 2019 Why Use An R&D Portal Over An R&D Advisor?
24TH MAY, 2019 How SMEs Can Benefit From R&D Tax Credits
14TH MAY, 2019 Charities Benefit Following Tax Cloud's Successful Show at Accountex
25TH APRIL, 2019 Tax Cloud's Most Innovative Companies 2019
12TH APRIL, 2019 Accidental Innovation - Tax Cloud's Top 8
5TH APRIL, 2019 A Practical Guide To R&D Tax Relief At Accountex 2019
27TH MARCH, 2019 What Software Projects Qualify For R&D Tax Credits?
15TH MARCH, 2019 3 Automotive Innovations To Look Out For In 2019
1ST MARCH, 2019 What Is Research And Development In Business?
22ND FEBRUARY, 2019 Growth Hack: Tap Into R&D Tax Credits
15TH FEBRUARY, 2019 Beyond R&D Tax Credits - Public Funding For Your Innovative Start-up
1ST FEBRUARY, 2019 5 Steps To Deliver An Optimised R&D Tax Credit Claim
25TH JANUARY, 2019 Top Tax Cloud FAQs
16TH JANUARY, 2019 What Projects Qualify For R&D Tax Credits In The Medical Industry?
11TH JANUARY, 2019 Accounting Practices Are Generating Fee Rates Of £325/hr
2ND JANUARY, 2019 R&D Tax Credits - It's Not As Difficult As You Think
14TH DECEMBER, 2018 4 Ways To Determine If You Qualify For R&D Tax Credits
26TH NOVEMBER, 2018 What Projects Could Be Eligible For R&D Tax Relief In Manufacturing?
2ND NOVEMBER, 2018 How To Know If Your Business Is Entitled To R&D Tax Credits
25TH OCTOBER, 2018 Why Isn’t The Agricultural Industry Claiming R&D Tax Credits?
10TH OCTOBER, 2018 Is Your Business Eligible For R&D Tax Relief?
3RD OCTOBER, 2018 The Most Common Mistakes People Make With R&D Tax Credits
18TH SEPTEMBER, 2018 #1 R&D Tax Claim Portal ‘Tax Cloud’ Launches Xero Integration
14TH SEPTEMBER, 2018 What To Look For In An Online R&D Tax Credits Claim Portal
7TH SEPTEMBER, 2018 5 Ways To Grow Your Accountancy Practice
31ST AUGUST, 2018 Common Pitfalls To Avoid While Claiming R&D Tax Credits
24TH AUGUST, 2018 How Far Back Can I Claim R&D Tax Credits?
17TH AUGUST, 2018 Should I Use A Specialist Or My Accountant For My R&D Tax Credits Claim?
27TH JULY, 2018 3 Things To Consider When Making An R&D Tax Credits Claim
13TH JULY, 2018 R&D Tax Credits – Don’t Fall Through The HMRC Trapdoor
25TH JUNE, 2018 Tax Cloud Shortlisted For Innovation Of The Year
30TH APRIL, 2018 Benefits Of A Self-Service R&D Tax Credit Portal
13TH MARCH, 2018 R&D Tax Credits Platform Tax Cloud Celebrates 100 SME’s Seeking Expert Support
5TH FEBRUARY, 2018 How R&D Tax Credits Can Help Your Startup Grow
29TH JANUARY, 2018 Getting The Best Returns From Your R&D Tax Credits Claim
22ND JANUARY, 2018 Introducing: The Tax Cloud Partner Programme
18TH JANUARY, 2018 What Costs Can You Claim Through R&D Tax Credits?
9TH JANUARY, 2018 Common Misconceptions About R&D Tax Credit Claims
5TH DECEMBER, 2017 R&D Tax Credits Made Simple For Small Businesses
20TH NOVEMBER, 2017 The 3 Things You Need To Consider When Making An R&D Tax Credits Claim
Popular Tags
Start your Tax Cloud claim now Discover if you qualify and ensure your R&D tax claim is maximised. Get started
Powered by Myriad Logo

Myriad Associates helps businesses maximise tax reliefs and secure R&D grant funds. We specialise in R&D Tax Credits, Video Games Tax Relief, Innovate UK grants, Horizons 2020 grants, and Research and Development Capital Allowance Claims.

  • Submitting R&D tax claims since 2001
  • 100% success rate
  • Over £100m claimed and counting
  • Industry leading specialists
  • In-house technical, costing and tax experts
  • Member of the Research and Development Consultative (RDCC) committee

Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
David Farbey David Farbey MA, FISTC, FRSA Technical Consultancy Director
Lisa Waller Lisa Waller CTA, ACCA R&D Tax Manager
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson MA, MISTC Senior Technical Consultant