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Food technology

Bouncing blue laser light off the skin provides a non-invasive way to determine levels of ...

Have you had your daily serving of vegetables? This seemingly simple question is in fact very difficult to answer, for children and adults alike. Luckily, a new handheld laser scanner devised by researchers at Yale University and the University of Utah promises to put a swift end to veggie dodging, while also helping scientists to measure exactly how our diet affects our health.  Read More

The Green Wheel is an indoor gardening concept, in which hydroponically-grown plants rotat...

Back in the 80s, NASA envisioned a system for growing herbs and other edible plants in the zero-gravity environment of a spacecraft. Although it never got off the drawing board, that system consisted of a rotating ring with built-in hydroponics, which the plants grew on the inside of. Flash forward a few decades, and Italian design firm DesignLibero has taken that concept and re-imagined it as a consumer device, known as The Green Wheel.  Read More

The Kuru-Kuru Nabe uses its sculpted spiral sides to stir its contents and cook them more ...

Some inventions are born of necessity while others arrive as a result of an individual having a Eureka! moment. The Kuru-Kuru Nabe is, to some degree, a mixture of both. The name is Japanese for "Round-Round Pot" and is highly descriptive. The Kuru-Kuru Nabe is, in essence, a self-stirring saucepan, and it was invented by a humble Japanese dentist.  Read More

The Tuk Tuk Factory has launched its new vehicle, the e-Tuk Vendo, which is a pure electri...

When most people in the western world think of tuk tuks (if they even know what they are), they likely picture rather beat-up, primitive, noisy vehicles that zip around the crowded streets of exotic foreign lands. A Dutch company known as Tuk Tuk Factory, however, recently started building its own electric tuk tuks for sale within Europe. Apparently the traditional gas-powered vehicles from Asia couldn’t meet European environmental, quality or safety requirements. While the company’s existing models have all been aimed at ferrying around passengers, last week it launched the e-Tuk Vendo – an all-electric three-wheeled mobile catering machine.  Read More

An MIT scientist is developing inexpensive sensors that are able to gauge the ripeness of ...

As fruit matures, it releases a gas known as ethylene, that causes the ripening process to begin. Once that process is under way, more ethylene is released, kicking the ripening into high gear. Currently, produce warehouses use expensive technologies such as gas chromatography or mass spectroscopy to measure ethylene levels, in order to gauge the ripeness of fruits that are in storage. A scientist from MIT, however, is developing small, inexpensive ethylene sensors that could be used in places such as supermarkets. There, they could let shopkeepers know which batches of fruit need to sold the soonest, in order to minimize spoilage.  Read More

A Hong Kong company is selling 100% biodegradable fast food containers, made from waste st...

Not only are polystyrene fast food containers usually not recyclable, but they also take eons to break down in a landfill, can emit harmful compounds, and require petroleum to create. Using paper is one alternative, but Hong Kong-based company Innovasians is now offering another – 100% biodegradable containers made from waste straw left over after wheat harvesting.  Read More

The Sunbeam Fortune Cookie Maker allows you to make your own fortune cookies, complete wit...

“That could apply to anybody” is a commonly-heard complaint about the fortunes in fortune cookies. Well, imagine how much fun it might be if you could make fortune cookies yourself, with your own custom-written fortunes inside. That’s the idea behind Sunbeam’s Fortune Cookie Maker.  Read More

Toshiba Tec's new supermarket scanner is able to identify grocery items based on nothing b...

At some point, we’ve probably all had a supermarket cashier ask us to identify the mysterious fresh produce that we’re attempting to buy. Once we’ve told them what it is, they have then had to manually type in its code – they have to enter it themselves, of course, given that fruits and vegetables don’t have barcodes. Thanks to Toshiba Tec, however, those days may be coming to an end. The company’s new Object Recognition Scanner is able to instantly identify grocery items of all types based on their appearance alone.  Read More

Some realistic-looking 'meat,' created by Fraunhofer's vegetarian cutlet factory

There are a number of reasons that some people choose not to eat meat – for instance, they may not want to support the slaughter of animals, they may wish to avoid the health risks associated with consuming too much animal protein, or perhaps they’re not big fans of the environmental impact of raising livestock on a commercial scale. Unfortunately, if these people still want to eat meat-like foods, a lot of the meat alternatives currently available are kind of ... yucky. Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, however, is working on a device nicknamed the “vegetarian cutlet factory.” It produces continuous slabs of veggie-based mock meat, which is reportedly quite similar to the real thing.  Read More

A plasma torch eliminates bacteria from raw chicken

Judging by the number of folks who fall prey to food-borne illness each year, food safety is serious business, especially when you consider that pathogens such as Campylobacter and Salmonella contaminate over 70 percent of the raw chicken meat tested. Now, recent research from a food safety team at Pennsylvania's Drexel University offers proof-of-concept for what may one day be a common approach to preventing food-borne illness from raw poultry and meat products - the use of high-energy, low temperature plasma to eliminate unwanted bacteria while leaving the food basically unchanged.  Read More

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