Research and innovation in machine learning in the food manufacturing sector has declined in the last year, GlobalData says.

The most recent figures show the number of patent applications made by major food manufacturers on machine learning stood at 21 in the three months ending March – down from 93 over the same period in 2021.

However, figures on the number of patents approved followed a different pattern to filings – growing from two in the three months ending March 2021 to 15 in the same period in 2022.

GlobalData, Just Food’s parent company, tracks patent filings and approvals from offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into thematic areas and linked to key companies across various industries.

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Machine learning is seen by GlobalData as a disruptive force facing companies in the coming years and is one of the areas companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

Noodle marker Uni-President China Holdings filed 13 related patents in the three months ending March, the most among the companies under review but down from 82 over the same period in 2021.

The Taiwan-based group was followed by Chile-based alt-protein business NotCo and Nestlé, both of which filed three applications during the quarter.


Further analysis:

Robotics innovation among food manufacturers drops off – data

Patents on machine learning in food – what are the trends?

The latest figures on food manufacturers’ big data patents