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IBM has put Watson, its cognitive computing system, in control of the menu at a food truck...

IBM's Watson supercomputer has been rather busy in recent years. When not triumphing over us inferior humans on Jeopardy, it has been trying its hand at customer service and offering its expertise in clinical diagnosis. The kitchen, however, has been one domain where our mastery has so far gone unmatched. Well, until now that is. IBM has put its cognitive computing system in control of the menu at a food truck feeding attendees at this week's SXSW festival and the appointment has resulted in some particularly imaginative dishes.  Read More

The new MRE pizza being tried out by the troops (Photo: US Army)

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

A modifier protein that can be used to interfere with the plant's growth repression protei...

Researchers have discovered a new way to increase plant growth by suppressing the natural response to environmental stress. The scientists have found a modifier protein that can be used to interfere with the plant's growth repression proteins independently of the previously identified hormone Gibberellin. They believe this will lead to higher crop yields, even in unfavorable conditions.  Read More

The Foobler is designed to keep dogs fed and occupied throughout the day

Dog lovers are always concerned about keeping their furry friends happy, which typically means keeping them well-fed and occupied. That requires some dedication, but now a team of designers has come up with an automated device called Foobler that ticks both these boxes.  Read More

3D Systems unveiled the ChefJet  and ChefJet Pro (pictured) at CES

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

Looking back on a year filled with scientific accomplishment

The close of 2013 gives us an excellent opportunity, though satiated with holiday feasts, to look back on a year that has been filled with scientific accomplishment. So it's time to get comfortable on your Binary Chair, sip your hot cocoa from a phase-change mug while your Foodini prints out a batch of cookies and reflect on science stories of note from the past year.  Read More

TellSpec is a handheld food scanner that connects to your smartphone to inform you about a...

Figuring out whether the fries on your plate contain traces of trans-fat, or if those celery sticks are truly pesticide-free can be tricky, if not impossible. That's why Isabel Hoffmann along with mathematician Stephen Watson set out to create TellSpec, a hand-held device that you can simply point at a food item, to identify what's in it. Not only does the device warn you about chemicals, allergens and ingredients you'd rather avoid, it'll also help you figure out food sensitivities and track your vitamin intake. The goal, the company says, is to help people make clean food choices by letting them "check their food as easily as they check their mail."  Read More

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, by Frank Lloyd Wright, was created using icing...

Whatever the quantity of confectionery you manage to consume this holiday season, you're unlikely to come across a candy-based model of the Tate Modern gallery ... unless, that is, food artists Caitlin Levin and Henry Hargreaves happen to slip one of their creations into your stocking.  Read More

The Foodini in action

If you don’t regularly prepare your own food, is it because of the time involved? Would you make homemade pizza more often if you could “print”’ it? Barcelona-based Natural Machines aims to automate many kitchen tasks, but its Foodini food printer resembles a sleek desktop 3D printer more than any of the appliances already in your kitchen. And like its 3D-printing cousins, Foodini also lets users add in a dash of personal customization.  Read More

The Smart Bra concept is aimed at helping people ward off emotional eating (Image: Microso...

Microsoft is throwing its hat (or rather, bra) into the ring, combining with engineers from the University of Rochester and the University of Southampton to develop a mobile platform which can infer your current emotional state and provide just-in-time feedback on when eating is a bad idea. Where do they hide the apparatus? In a bra.  Read More

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