Food technology is taking over our kitchens and changing the way of eating and cooking.
Tech giants like Samsung, Dyson and innovative start-up companies are heavily working and investing on it. The focus area is the user. From smart refrigerator to portable food safety checker, food technology aims both at the simplification and at the improvement of a household life. There are four key pillars where food technology devices focus. These are: smart kitchen, digital dining, safe food and healthy diet.
In this article the most promising food technologies are analysed. Firstly, these aim to enhance the life quality of households. Secondly, they all are examples of what a consumer needs representing for the food industry strong consumer trends to be watched out.
1. IKEA Smart table
IKEA smart table brings the future inside the kitchen. Single food items are recognized when placed on the table, suggesting linked recipes. Single steps are projected on the table in real time. It has the function to warm the surface and cook directly on the table. The table consists of a camera and projector above the table with an induction coils underneath the table surface. Put together they are able to recognise objects movement, projecting images on the table used as a screen.
2. Smart Refrigerator
With a Freshness Tracker, this refrigerator can monitor items in the fridge and suggest recipes to be sent over to the oven. Enables users to track the expiration dates of food items and sets reminders so that foods wastage is minimized. Food items can be input into the food management system by voice recognition or scanning the receipt or product bar code on a smartphone. It also offers Smart shopping, which can be done directly from the refrigerator’s LCD panel or a smartphone.
3. Smart knife
The hi-tech utensil calculates dangerous levels of bacteria in food, analyses sugar content and gauges how much protein or carbohydrate is present in food. The idea is to use the sensors in the knife to assess nutritional value and freshness of fresh food products. Delivering accurate feedback in terms of product freshness, it helps the user checking food labeling and eliminate redundant expiry dates.
4. Global chef holographic projector
It connects people around the world through hologram technology to facilitate a social cooking experience that is not limited by geographic location. With the holographic projection technology, the conceptual device conjures up image projections of friends and family or holographic chefs while they shows how to cook daily recipes.
5. Digital taste simulator
The device works via a simulation-game that offers individuals the opportunity to combine a host of different ingredients to create their own dishes. And the dishes can then be tasted. The taste can be simulated as ‘flavor replication‘ and then ‘samplers’ miniature spoon like utensils that send ‘flavor replication‘ signals to the brain placing it on taste buds present in the tongue.
It is a handheld spectrometer scanner that can analyze materials by measuring properties of light, which can help detect risk and hazard in food. After beaming a low-powered laser at an edible product, and decoding the photons that are emitted back to the device, the scanner can detect the presence of allergens and chemicals, and chart calorific composition.
It analyzes air borne data to check beef, poultry, pork, and fish for freshness. The user gets feedback instantly via the system’s mobile app. It uses four different sensors to determine whether or not food has gone bad. One detects volatile organic compounds (VOCs), another gauges ammonia levels, another checks temperature, and one measures humidity levels. The device reads and analyzes the data gathered by the sensors before transmitting it via Bluetooth to th euser’s smartphone or tablet where it can be viewed on the PERES app.
8. Thanko sodium meter
It assess the percentage of salt present in warm liquid and semi-liquid foods like soup, pasta or curry, which helps people to control daily salt intakes. There is a sodium sensor inside it, and the results can bedisplayed on an LED scale within a couple of seconds. This technology is thought for households who, for health reasons, need to have low salt intakes.
For more on food technology read Best 3D Food printers.
A selection of the best 3D food printers out in the market
Technology is shaping the way people eat. Households are looking for new ways to save both time and money while at the same time having a high food experience. Food automation is becoming very important, because it enables both time and cost savings. In the recent years many companies have tried to satisfy this need by creating machines able to address this needs. The first best 3d food printers were not able to address this need correctly due to poor quality and unhealthy ingredients. However, as we saw with 3D Meat printer, new machines have been inspired by those and they have potential to become huge successes.
Born by a Kickstarter founding, this a revolutionary machine able to print a high variety of food by using fresh food prepared directly at home. Indeed, all the others comparable machines out in the market prepare foods by using only factory prepared ingredients. Multiple studies and researches have questioned the final food quality and many of those have agreed upon on a poorer quality than packaged food.
Foodini has a strong edge cutting design and it has been defined by many as the future microwave. The founder’s vision behind this invention was to create the first 3D food printer able contribute to a healthy eating lifestyle. Soon commercialised, this is the one of the most waited products in the market by consumers.
2. Choc Edge
This the first 3D food printer already being sold on the market. Choc Edge creates unique shapes by using chocolate. This can both be prepared at home or normally bought in store and then melted before the use. An app will also help the user chasing and preparing his first creation.
Bakers and households can now rely on a high efficient machine to create amazing decorations. This machine can be used to create personalised chocolate bars, customised chocolate art, corporate gifts, cake decorations, desserts, coffee toppers, children’s workshop and as engagement tool.
3. Barilla Pasta Printer
Barilla, the leading Italian pasta maker, has created a own branded printer. By choosing a selected variety of ingredients, users have the possibility to create on demand unique pasta shapes. The prototype presented in 2015 was able to produce fresh pasta in 2 minutes using Durum Wheat Semolina and water.
This technology is able to produce new geometrical shapes not obtainable with the traditional technology used in pasta production. End users will be restaurants and gourmet shops who demand original pasta shapes, tastes and colours. For example original shapes already tested and not present in the market are “Roses”, “Moon” and “Vortipa”.
5 Direct To Consumer Key Players: Selling beyond retail
Nowadays the online world has become a space in which brands can directly engage and sell to consumers eliminating the need for physical stores or online retailers. The shoppers are keen to discover those new options and more brands or software’s that sell directly to consumer are emerging – creating simplicity and efficiency in marketing and supply chain.
Here is a selection of 5 key DTC players that are disruptive in their concepts or service:
1) Amazon Dash
Shoppers purchase a product-specific Amazon Dash Button and use the Amazon app to connect Dash to WiFi and set the product to be reordered with the button. When consumers run out of that product, pressing Amazon Dash automatically purchases and ships the product to their house.
2) Amazon Echo Alexa
Hands-free speaker shoppers can control with their voices. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. In addition, consumers can speak to Alexa to easily order products via Amazon.
It eliminates the need for shoppers to visit app or website, they simply uses voice commands to make purchases. All you have to do is ask.
3) Blue Apron
Shoppers subscribe to the service and receive a box each week with the right amount of ingredients to prepare two-three recipes.
Blue Apron makes it easy for busy consumers to prepare tasty meals at home that fit their dietary needs –no finding recipes, going to the grocery store for ingredients, having leftovers that go to waste.
Shoppers subscribe to a monthly sample box of beauty products for men or women, Helps consumers easily and efficiently try, learn about, and purchase beauty products online. Brands use Birchbox to launch, sample, and test new products.
5) Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club couldn’t be simpler. The shopper has to select the kind of blade he wants for shaving (from 1 to 5 blades) and then pay a monthly subscription to receive the right quantity needed for a proper shaving. Cost are from 1$ to 9$ according to the type of blade chosen and there is no minimum commitment. Their funny commercials are the most viral on DTC market, explaining their outstanding growth.
Smoothie is boring? Let’s do a cider
The adventure started in 2014 when a group of students decided to team up and create a home-brewed machine for cider. After three prototypes, they were launched by the hardware accelerator HAX, to finally start a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
The concept is simple, the Alchema brewing machine turns pieces of fruit into craft cider in only three steps. Firstly after an automatic container cleaning, users choose a recipe from the Alchema app and select their ingredients. They load the required fruit, sugar, water and the product will do the rest. After about 2 weeks of fermentation, the container monitor communicates with the app when the batch is finished and bingo, enjoy your alcoholic homemade smoothie.
“Almost two million Americans have attempted to home-brew, but it usually turns out disappointing in terms of flavor or complexity to use,” says Oscar Chang, CEO of Alchema. “We want to make homebrewing easy and fun for everyone to create and share over and over.”
Homebrewed machine are the new rising trends in smart kitchen products, as we see the process is simplify and standardized. This project confirms that after new smart coffee and beer machines, the golden age of the IoT is still perennial. For the food & beverages sector, this means that cider can be an alternative of homemade beer or cocktail makers. As we analysed in the Tech in grocery top 10 food trends, fruits and natural processes are a key success factor.
– IoT Masterpiece (Your mobile is the remote control)
– Follow/create recipes on the app
– Easy & attractive design
– High quality product
– Wireless connection
The product already got high backing on Kickstarter, they targeted $80 000 and are now over $138 000 with still 38 days to go. This fund would allows them to start mass production and international shipment.
Looks like making cider will be the next home hobby !
They expected to raise $25,000 and are now over 4000% funded.
Chris Place and Will Matters, two Industrial Designers, with a goal of making healthy living easier through good design. They launched a number of Kickstarter campaigns on delivery service in Hong Kong before creating in 2015 the lunchbox Prepd Pack.
Taking lunch to work allows people to better control their diet, save money and reduce packaging waste, however it’s a habit that many find difficult to sustain because there is no alternatives available today. Prepd combines a beautiful lunchbox design with a smart modular container system and an app made with nutritionists and chefs. The Prepd App automatically knows what you eat based upon the recipe that the user has prepared and uses this data to measure his health and fitness information in one place.
The app outputs customised shopping lists that take the guesswork out of what and how much to purchase, reducing food waste and allowing users to save money as the average spend on lunches out sits around $17 (USD) while preparing meals at home is closer to $6 (USD).
– Diminute waste reduction (In US 40% of the food)
– Consumers save money
– Omni connect (App + lunchbox)
– Premium product (Design, materials..)
– Consumer can follow their diet (App with recipes, seamless tracking)
– Fit very well with the new food trends (Nutritional, fresh food, vegan…)
They raised more than 1.4 million USD on Kickstarter and got a community of 12 557 backers. Allowing them to get feedback on their product & app and develop additional features. With this fund they target in-store distribution in HK, US and UK by 2016 and partnership with experts.
We never stop speaking about grocery delivery, but this new trend could be a serious alternative (Or complement). Therefore, this success story confirms really well our vision: Consumers of tomorrow will disrupt the FMCG / Retail landscape.
Nespresso announced the launch of Prodigio his first connected coffee prepared machine.
This new venture can interest anyone that love coffee and connected devices. After the famous Nescafe store, Nespresso integrated new functionalities in its latest coffee prepared machine. The application works on iPhone or Android and it’s directly connected by Bluetooth, allowing consumer to control the machine as well as the capsules stock.
- Automatic and programmed preparation
- Capsules online command
- Auto Power Off
- Alert when used capsule is full
- Descaling reminders and control of descaling kit
- Alert when the water tank is empty
- Error alerts and Maintenance
Prodigio track if you’re addictive to coffee
What is more interesting is the smart supervision of capsules orders vs. consumption. Moreover, the application calculates what users consume and alerts them when the stock is almost exhausted, avoiding painful morning without coffee! Finally, the biggest advantage is the ability to program coffee for the morning. What’s better than waking up to the smell of coffee?
Nespresso allows consumers to prepare their own “Grand Cru” remotely from the application consumers installed on the smartphone. Prodigio is also eco-friendly turning itself off after 9 min of inactivity. The machine will be commercialized from end of March 2016 at 199 € for Prodigio model and 249 € for Prodigio & Milk.
This kind of smart kitchen device is very popular with new startups (In cider for example).