23 May 2023
The OneThird team works hard to bring our shelf life prediction technology to the world.
We sat down with Remco Horstink, our bright R&D engineer, to learn more about him.
What’s your role at OneThird?
My role at OneThird is diverse and depends on what we need most at any given time.
I help improve the quality of shelf life prediction. This includes performing various tests on the current hardware and on promising new hardware, as well as building and designing new measurement setups.
Every now and then I help to program our measurement software and do data analysis.
What’s your career background?
I just graduated with a degree in Applied Physics from Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede, The Netherlands.
Funnily enough, I worked at a distribution center of one of the biggest supermarkets in The Netherlands as an order picker in 2016. This helps me in my current role at OneThird because I have an understanding of operations at distribution centers.
I also interned at Radiotherapiegroep Arnhem, a radiotherapy institute at the Rijnstate hospital. Here I worked on a trend analysis website, programmed in Python, to provide them with important data.
I joined OneThird almost a year ago as an intern and have since become an R&D engineer.
Why were you drawn to working at OneThird?
I discovered OneThird through one of my teachers and was instantly drawn to it because of the way physics and the optics are applied in a way that has not been done before in the food industry.
It’s rewarding to use my knowledge in applied physics to fight food waste, which the world crucially needs.
What has surprised you most from working in this role?
What surprised me most when working in this role is the diversity of the work, as well as the workflow speed. Because we are a startup, developments happen very fast, and everyone’s tasks often change based on those developments.
Everything we do is focused on solving customer needs and it never gets boring.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
I was able to successfully analyze strawberries through an imaging setup that I assembled myself. It’s a great feeling to see my work directly helping a customer and knowing that I played a large role in making it happen.
An example from this setup is below.
What do you think it will take to halve global food loss and waste by 2030?
People will have to make a much greater effort towards reducing waste at home. If all meals were prepared in a controlled environment, where all leftovers and discarded produce were reused, there wouldn’t have to be any consumer food waste.
However, since many people like cooking, people must be educated and take steps to reduce food waste.
Let’s say it’s 2050 and stakeholders in the food system have all taken the right steps- what does that look like?
Food only gets discarded when it’s actually not edible or not sellable anymore, instead of when it “could be not edible”. This means all companies have a robust way of checking whether food is still edible or not, instead of relying on an inaccurate “best by” date. Discarded food gets reused in some way so nothing is lost, for instance for biofuel or animal food.
Also, people that don’t like to cook can buy long-lasting food packets with all components the body needs. They can eat these packets and cause no food waste at all (and since they’re storable for a longer duration, these packets are also handy for travelers).
Finally, everyone has solar panels to convert sunlight into energy for their home. Everyone will also convert their leftovers into biofuel using solar energy to power an at-home pressure cooker system.
What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?
I like playing the piano. I started when I was about 8 years old, so I’ve been playing for many years now. I also like riding my motorcycle.
What’s one thing you wish everyone would do or at least consider doing?
Save your leftovers. Also, don’t fill your entire plate with food if you’re not sure you can eat it all. You can always get more from the pan later, or if not, save what’s left inside the pan for later.