AI spurs new ideas in agriculture, food production in Turkey

As traditional production methods in food and agriculture are gradually replaced by artificial intelligence (AI), automation and technology-based applications, university students in Turkey have developed remarkable projects in this field.

According to Anadolu Agency (AA), students from different universities attended the Undergraduate Student Research Project Competition, held under the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)'s Directorate of Science Fellowships and Grant Programs. The students work fell under the categories of defense, space and aviation, smart cities and transportation, information and communication technologies, education, energy and environment, food and agriculture, machinery manufacturing and automotive, health, social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Placed in regional competitions, these projects were seen at Teknofest in Istanbul from Sept. 17-22 and attracted great attention. Among these projects, applications that were developed in the food and agriculture fields by benefiting from technologies like AI and automation drew attention.

protection for wheat

In this context, the Wheat Warehouse Automation Project aims to enable farmers to store their grains themselves and make first-hand sales. With the project, the products in the silos are protected against pests and mold.

As part of the project, which makes preserving wheat in the proper conditions possible, the humidity and temperature values are measured through censors at the silos.

The stirring rod and fan system, which are activated when the values specified inside the storehouses are exceeded, allow the necessary conditions for the product to be re-established. If proper humidity and temperature values cannot be provided, or if pests and mold are observed, the wheat is transferred to the spare silo through a grain auger.

Moldy wheat is removed from the clean wheat with the help of a fan during transport. Thus, the spread of mold to the whole warehouse is prevented and the quality of the product is preserved.

Male chicks to live with AI

The AI-supported Sex Separation from Egg Shape with Comparative Method project will start a new era in the egg sector. Hatching chicks are selected in the sector and male ones are culled. With the project, designed by university students to prevent culling of approximately 8 billion male chicks per year, the sex can be determined by the shape of the egg. Thus, the eggs containing female chicks are set for incubation while male chicks containing eggs are allowed to be consumed as eggs. The project aims to prevent the destruction of animals by unethical means along with profit loss in the industry.

microalgae for clean water

With another project developed to create an alternative to clean water resources, wastewater is cleaned thanks to photosynthetic organisms called "microalgae" and made available again for use in agricultural irrigation. In this way, water that becomes rich in nitrogen and phosphorus serves as a fertilizer to contribute to the development of the plant. Thus, both the root system and the leaves of the plant become more resistant. The project aims to remove the harms of synthetic fertilizers in the environment.

Affordable gluten-free productFood engineering students also produced a project to meet the expectations of celiac patients. In this context, flaxseed flour is used as a thickener instead of gluten in products like bread, cake and biscuit. Thus, the cost of the product is reduced and gluten-free products for celiac patients becomes less expensive.

Most of the thickeners currently used in gluten-free products are imported. The project aims to reduce the dependence on foreign countries and to ensure product diversity.

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