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Food technology

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
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
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
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
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
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
Pizza with a three-year shelf life will soon be joining the US Army's field rations menu. These infamous MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat) have a long and checkered history, acquiring such sobriquets over the years as "Meals Rejected by Everyone" and "Materials Resembling Edibles." Pizza has long topped the list of requested meals, but the task of providing a palatable slice of this complex food that will survive the required three-year shelf life has foiled all attempts. Now, the folks at Natick's Combat Feeding Directorate have achieved a minor miracle in food technology: stopping time for a slice of pizza. Read More

Snacking on a freshly-made pizza in outer space just got a whole lot closer thanks to Anjan Contractor's 3D pizza printer. Contractor, who won NASA's US$125,000 grant last year to create a 3D printer that could print food for astronauts on missions, has come out with a functional prototype. Read More

We've recently seen a cornucopia of 3D food printers specialized for consumer and prosumer chefs. Now a major corporation has expressed interest in the sprouting 3D-printed food industry – chocolate-maker Hershey has announced a development partnership with 3D Systems. Read More

Last year we reported that Liz and Kyle von Hasseln had modified a 3D printer to churn out custom sugary treats. The husband and wife team's efforts appear to have caught the eye of 3D Systems, with the company responsible for the no-assembly-required Cubify and sub-US$1,000 Cube 3 enlisting them to help develop a 3D printer aimed specifically at the kitchen. The result is the new ChefJet series unveiled at CES, which swaps plastic prints for custom culinary creations. Read More
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