Walmart, Bentonville, Ark., released Eden, an intelligent food system designed to improve the quality and flow of fresh groceries from farm to shelf.

Eden is the result of a friendly competition, or hackathon, among Walmart engineers on the fresh merchandising teams. The goal was to figure out the best way to keep track of food freshness from the farms to the stores. The winning team determined that building a digital library of food standards was the answer.

Developed in just six months by Walmart associates, Eden was built based on the many chapters of food product specifications set by the USDA, layered with Walmart’s own rigorous product standards, resulting in more than a million photos to create a freshness algorithm that prioritizes the flow of perishable goods worldwide.

This patent-pending system leverages sophisticated technologies such as machine learning. Eden’s suite of apps helps Walmart associates better monitor and care for fresh fruits and vegetables waiting to be shipped from distribution centers to stores. What happens to produce if temperatures in the container trucks exceed acceptable ranges? Eden will be able to re-calculate the freshness factor and re-route the shipment immediately.

Eden also helps eliminate food waste. Already, Eden is being used in 43 distribution centers, and has prevented $86 million in waste from happening.