Student Carlijn van der Vleuten uses AI to cut food waste

Student Carlijn van der Vleuten uses AI to cut food waste

05/08/2024 - 13:01

In a world where technology keeps changing, first-year Applied Data Science & AI student Carlijn van der Vleuten, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve a big problem. Her focus has been on tackling food waste through a project she dedicated her efforts to. Let's delve into the details of her work.
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Can you describe the project that you have been working on? 

Carlijn: 'This individual project takes the form of a web application called "TasteScape", focusing on minimising food waste, particularly in households. Users can upload photos of leftover fruits and vegetables, and the AI then identifies the items in the image and suggests recipes based on them, drawing from a database of over 8,000 recipes.’ 

What did the process of this project look like? 

Carlijn: ‘My journey began with curating a database, collecting recipes from the internet. I then structured this data for use, employing Python frameworks for web application development.  

‘Creating a computer vision model was the next step, involving collecting and augmenting thousands of photos to train the AI to recognise 44 different fruits and vegetables accurately.’  

‘Despite challenges, such as training time and database integration, I persevered. The last phase of the project was conducting user testing to refine the user experience of the web app.’ 

What are you most proud of?  

Carlijn: ‘I'm most proud of seeing my idea come to life and the invaluable learning experiences along the way. Navigating challenges with a trial-and-error approach, I refined my database structure and user experience based on feedback and personal reflection.’ 

What are your future plans? 

Carlijn: ‘Reflecting on my journey, I'm enthusiastic about exploring new areas in data engineering. I find joy in merging my personal interests into projects, driven by my passion for creating meaningful solutions.’ 


For more insights into Carlijn's work, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.