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Cropster Introducing AI-Driven First Crack Prediction

coffee roasting cooling tray

Coffee roasting software and solutions provider Cropster has introduced its second major predictive tool involving artificial intelligence (AI): First Crack Prediction.

The feature is officially being released as part of Cropster’s core Roasting Intelligence software tomorrow, adding to the company’s groundbreaking AI-based Roast Curve Prediction feature introduced last year.

Both features are designed to give roasters a near-pinpoint-accurate glimpse into the future while actively production- or sample-roasting so that they may then make adjustments on the fly.

As with the curve prediction feature, the AI informing the first crack predictor incorporates data from many thousands of anonymized roasts shared by existing Cropster users.

The Austria-based company says the curve feature has proven to give roasters a view with less than 2% variance of accuracy for curves as far as two minutes into the future, allowing users to adjust accordingly.

Cropster roasting predictions

AI-based first crack prediction at work. Cropster offers a “smart predictions” toggle switch (upper right) that allows users to turn AI features on or off.

The first crack predictor is designed to forecast the exact moment of the beans’ first crack — when the Maillard reaction begins to occur within a batch, marking what’s commonly referred to as “development time.”

In an announcement of the new feature today, Cropster suggested it could benefit roasters by minimizing time and product losses through quicker dialing in of roast profiles, and by more quickly translating profiles between different Cropster-equipped roasting machines. Cropster officials told DCN last year that the AI had also proved beneficial as a training resource since it can give trainees a view of where a roast is heading based on where it may be in the present.

Cropster is introducing the feature globally on Wednesday, March 10.