New tablet software helps reduce food waste

Technology company Go Green Tomato is claiming the UK's first tablet-based food waste management system.

Its LeanPath Zap aimed at hotels, restaurants and catering companies gives real-time insight into which foods are headed for the bin or compost heap and why. Informed changes to purchasing patterns, meal preparation or menus can be made as a result.

The software runs on standard Android tablets and clients typically mount the devices in central locations. Staff members use the tablet to record food they are discarding, answering a short set of questions about what it is and why it's being binned and the weight or quantity.

The data is transmitted to the LeanPath Online analytics dashboard, where chefs and managers can view interactive, real-time reports, set up custom e-mail alerts, and receive regular e-mail summaries which use algorithms to highlight the foods and scenarios that are generating the most waste.

LeanPath has been involved in technology-assisted food waste monitoring since first designing an automated tracking system in 2004.

Co-founder and CEO Andrew Shakman said the new tablet system was affordable and flexible, making it particularly useful, for instance, for contract caterers with multiple geographic locations.