Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Food technology

The MEG greenhouse allows the user to create the perfect growing environment from their sm...

Between potting parsley, curating coriander and tending to tomatoes, a vegetable patch requires a fair amount of work and even more know how. But what if you could call on an online community to keep everything in in working order when you hit the limits of your gardening prowess? The MEG Open Source Greenhouse is an internet-connected indoor microclimate designed to tap into the collective knowledge of green-thumbs around the world.  Read More

The prototype Automatic Ingestion Monitor with its motion sensor visible at the bottom, in...

There are already a number of devices that allow people to keep track of what and how much they eat, in order to help themselves lose weight or maintain a better-balanced diet. Most of these gadgets, however, rely on the user to manually enter the data regarding each meal. The University of Alabama's Dr. Edward Sazonov is working at taking user error/deceitfulness out of the equation, by developing a headset-style diet-tracking device that automatically monitors what its wearer eats.  Read More

The Midnight Scoop is said to make ice cream scooping easier, and reduce strain placed on ...

Ice cream can be very difficult to scoop straight from the freezer. Using traditional scoops in this situation can put a strain on the user's wrist without necessarily being that effective. The Midnight Scoop, however, is designed to protect the user's wrist, whilst making the scooping process easier.  Read More

Penguin measures antibiotic residue in food

We've already heard about a biosensor developed in Brazil for detecting pesticide content in food. Now at CE Week, a Seoul-based company called BioSensor Laboratories has presented Penguin, a home-use sensor that detects the presence of antibiotics in animal products.  Read More

The Edible Mist Machine uses a process described as ultrasonic vaporization to create more...

A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips – or so the saying goes. UK-based food inventor Charlie Harry Francis is looking to challenge the idea that the sensory delight offered by our favorite foods need live on in the form of bulging waistbands. He recently launched his Edible Mist Machine that is capable of producing inhalable mists, ranging in flavor from smoked bacon to apple pie.  Read More

The 3D fruit printer uses spherification to create hybrid fruits, or to recreate existing ...

By now we're all quite used to seeing blended fruit juices such as banana-strawberry or apple-lime, but what about solid three-dimensional hybrid fruits that are made to order? Well, that's just what Cambridge, UK-based design company Dovetailed is promising, with its 3D fruit printer.  Read More

The SCiO Pocket Molecular Sensor

Wondering how nutritious that food is, if that plant needs water, or just what that misplaced pill is? Well, the makers of SCiO claim that their device is able to tell you all of those things, plus a lot more. To use it, you just scan the item in question for one or two seconds, then check the readout on a Bluetooth 4.0-linked smartphone.  Read More

Olive oil counterfeiters may be thwarted by DNA particles, that are mixed into the liquid ...

When most people think of counterfeit goods, they probably picture things like handbags or watches. In fact, there's also a huge market for knock-off high-end food products, such as extra-virgin olive oil. Scientists from Switzerland's ETH Zurich research group, however, have come up with a possible method of thwarting the makers of that bogus oil – just add synthetic DNA particles to the real thing. And yes, consumers would proceed to swallow those particles.  Read More

The $99 ChocaByte promises small 3D-printed chocolates

If you’ve been keeping an eye out for a 3D chocolate printer, you probably know that there’s currently not much on the market. Foodini is in its Kickstarter phase and the ChefBot doesn’t print in chocolate. However, the ChocaByte 3D chocolate printer that debuted at this year's CES has since been offered at a special price of US$99 on a limited run of 500 printers, before heading to mass production in its home country of Australia.  Read More

Researchers have discovered conditions that would allow plants to grow quickly in optimal ...

There's a conundrum of growing food in outer space: the same optimal conditions that create quick plant growth also leaves them missing a nutrient that protects human eyes from radiation, such as astronauts experience. However, scientists under the direction of Barbara Demmig-Adams at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a method of using bright pulses of light to trick plants into producing more zeaxanthin, which humans cannot produce on their own but is essential for long-term eye health and visual acuity.  Read More

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