Food technology


Sniffing out the real-time chemical signature of ripening fruit

Using technology to sniff out food that's gone bad isn't a new idea – we've seen sensors that use carbon nanotubes to detect spoiled meat, and smart caps that can spot bad milk. Now, researchers in the United Kingdom have successfully identified the chemical signature of ripening mangoes. The findings could be extended to other fruit, and might one day revolutionize how everyone from farmers to supermarket workers tell if their fruit is ready.Read More

If the sensor goes pink, then don't drink

Unlike wine, beer doesn't age well. It goes stale, becoming a foul-tasting concoction that breweries certainly shouldn't be sending out to stores or bars. While brewers do already perform tests to gauge freshness, those typically involve expensive gas chromatography equipment and take time to conduct. Soon, however, a simple color-changing sensor and an Android app may be all that's required.Read More

Slack bot collaborates on taco orders

Launched in 2013, Slack took just two years to pass the million daily users mark and now boasts more than 2.3 million users, 675,000 of which pay for the privilege. That's a lot of users and a lot of mouths to feed. Taco Bell is looking to help do just that with a bot that will take orders via the cloud-based team collaboration tool.Read More

Around The Home

Device turns butter into succulent spray

Butter. It has to be kept cold and hard, yet it's easiest to use when it's warm and soft. Many a slice of fresh bread or toast has fallen victim to this fact. Texas-based inventor Doug Foreman, however, decided to do something about it. His biēm device is loaded with a stick of cold butter, and delivers it onto food in spray form.Read More


Tomatoes taste better after a nice hot bath

Store bought tomatoes are notorious for having an insipid taste, so a team of scientists led by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working on new methods to ensure that future supermarket tomatoes have more flavor. The research suggests this can be achieved by a simple, inexpensive alteration to conventional processing – a hot bath.Read More


Edible coating more than doubles strawberry shelf life

Strawberries may be delicious, but they don't have much of a shelf life. So if you find a great bargain on a flat of them, you can end up throwing half of it away after a few days. In a move that may save many a shortcake, scientists at the University San Nicolás de los Garza in Mexico have developed an edible coating made from pectin that preserves strawberries for longer without affecting their taste.Read More


Astronauts chow down on space harvest for the first time

The International Space Station (ISS) was the scene of an historic lunch this week with the crew members of Expedition 44 dining on the first meal harvested in space. The dish, which consisted on leaves of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce grown in NASA's "Veggie" zero-gravity greenhouse, is part of the space agency's effort to find ways to feed tomorrow's deep-space travelers.Read More


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