Home / Results / Cell counting at speed using the ACUMEN AI for British Sugar  

11X faster. 3X accuracy. Sweet!


Manually counting yeast cells

To ensure quality and food safety requirements are met, British Sugar continuously complete a lab test where live and dead yeast cells are counted. To date this process has been carried out manually by an operator – a laborious process that, by its nature, is prone to human error. The operator, using a microscope, manually counts the white and blue cells on screen, manually inputs the data into spreadsheets, and applies specific calculations. The company desired automatic counting of yeast cells to remove subjectivity and human error from their process.  An automated, faster method would enable rapid decisions on fermentation and amplify yield. Consequently, this would also reduce costly overheads and improve inspection and counting time.



A fast, reliable, fully-automated solution.

Paul Wrathmall from British Sugar presented our Technical Sales Manager in the UK with their cell counting challenge. They collaborated with our R&D department to explore possible solutions. British Sugar provided test samples and we set about building a working model in-house to solve the problem. We used our ACUMEN AI system, a customised app, and a custom mechanical jig to ensure lighting consistency. The Acumen AI was trained to identify and differentiate between white and blue yeast cells. The system automatically applied the required algorithms, automatically saved the data, and automatically created a PDF report.

The solution was presented back to British Sugar. They were delighted and impressed with the speed, accuracy and completeness of the system and implemented it immediately.


11 times faster. 90% reduction in human error.

The solution, so far, has reduced average task time from 17 minutes to 90 seconds. As the AI bot gets smarter, task time will reduce further. With the task largely automated the possibility for human error has greatly reduced. The solution also streamlines the cell counting documentation and reporting process for British Sugar.

“Another application that shows the massive improvements in efficiency and accuracy that our technology can deliver. And a good example of how our core technology can be quickly adapted to very specific needs.”
– Technical Sales Manager UK, ASH.


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