Research and innovation in big data in the food manufacturing sector is growing, according to research from GlobalData.

The research organisation’s most recent figures show the number of patent applications in the industry related to big data stood at 14 in the three months ending October – up from six over the same period last year.

However, figures for patents related to big data that were granted followed a different pattern to applications – shrinking from four in the three months ending October 2020 to two this year.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, which tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas and linked to key companies across various industries.

Big data is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing business in the coming years and is one of the areas companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Japanese seafood group Nippon Suisan Kaisha was the top big data innovator among food manufacturers in the period. The company filed six patents related to big data, up from zero over the same period last year.

It was followed by Taiwan-based noodle maker Uni-President China Holdings, with three patent applications and PepsiCo (two applications).

For more on GlobalData's research on industry trends in the area of patents:

Patents on automation in food – what are the trends?

Revealed: emerging food industry investment themes to watch in 2022