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 strongconsumertrends 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.
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”.
A growing population and limited resources are set to shake up the meat industry.
US Bureau of Statistics reports that over the last 5 years retail pricesof fresh beef have been increased by more than 40%. Despite the explosion of “fresh” grocery stores; Trends show that consumers visiting fresh meat departments are incentivized to look for alternatives such as poultry or veggie products by continuously higher prices.
Despite this fact, FAO estimates that by 2050 world population will reach 10 billion people and meat demand will increase by 73%. For the industry this growth rate is clearly a challenge and by keeping the current production method, meat is likely to become a luxury item. Indeed, the single production for one burger beef it is very expensive requires a lot of raw materials:
3kg of grain
200 liters of water
land to raise the livestock
emissions of 3 kg of CO2
A Dutch company founded by a Maastricht University professor is addressing this problem and has found and already implemented a new solution: in vitro meat. This is an extraordinarily technology advance that promises to revolutionise the whole food industry.
Using a completely innovative cellular manufacturing process, they are able to harvest in laboratory cells from a living cow. Of course, this process doesn’t involve any 3D printer machine but the same logic is used. No genetic modification is involved and by growing a single cell in laboratory they are able to create one normal size burger with an equal taste, 99% of proteins and an exactly same cow meat tissue.
Why is this the future?
The overall production requires 99% less resources, no waste and minimal CO2 emissions. When a mass scale production will be reached this new process will cut middlemen in the supply chain bringing meat into the market without any further manufacturing processes, both lowering price and increasing final quality.
Benefits are clear:
Consumers will have the possibility to choose a high quality meat, with no added fats, no substituted ingredients and high hygienic standards. The environment will benefit from less use of resources and no killing of animals.
The supermarket is dead, long life to the supermarket!
While I was waiting the digital new upcoming innovations, I really thought that the supermarket was dead! But in reality, supermarket is moving faster than expected! Many consumers love having groceries delivered to their door, but there is still a huge number of shoppers that love going to the store and personally select their products. It is clear that the “digitization” of the store is becoming a key issue in many sectors of distribution and the Grocery retail is not being outdone. Several technologies and techniques are promising in the context of “digitization” of supermarkets, provided they are well controlled. Bellow, find the Techingrocery selection of the 15 most disruptive innovation to change the face of supermarkets as we know!
1. IBeacon Reinvents Proximity!
This technology uses Bluetooth transmitters. It locates smartphones or tablets customers and send them offers, discounts or contextualized information depending customer geolocalisation. This technology is driven by Apple but it is available on all Android devices ( from 4.3) equipped with a Bluetooth 4.0 chip. We can interact with the customer via the application on his smartphone. Platforms like Rover, Bealder or Beaconstream address this kind of personalized content. Here a short video to understand the IBeacon technology:
Why people are getting crazy with this innovation?
Brick-and-mortar retail stores are particularly excited about this technology. Location sensitivity allows physical retail to push deals and coupons to those nearby and heat map visitor concentration to track which displays are generating attention and which are being ignored. Enhanced traffic tracking and the ability to precisely target nearby users will bring to physical stores advantages once held only by online retailers. Target, the second largest general merchandise retailer in the U.S embrace this technology and started beacon implementation in 50 of its stores nationwide. But the mains groceries retailer leader as Tesco, Target, Walmart, Waitrose, Auchan seems to be enthousiast about IBeacon.
2. Improve your Experience with Augmented Reality Glasses…
The chain Intermarché ( Les Mousquetaires ) set test a prototype of glasses connected ( Wuzic of French origin ) , proposed by the Digitas agency. They allow the consumer to be guided to the shelves according to the list of previously entered races and to receive information on demand.
3. Or Skip the Glasses and Draw your Smartphone!
Ads Reality ( A.i.Solve , UK ) is a mobile application to highlight products or retain customers and analyze data. Another app ‘ Interactive Environments ” plans advertisements on very large screens or specially equipped shop windows to display images in augmented reality.
4. Kitchen Connected
Be connected to your supermarket from home! This remote device allows the consumer to add articles to his shopping application through the barcode or by vocal recognition. Amazon Dash, hiku by chronodrive, Pikit by Carrefour or Api by Intermarché want to take this innovations wave and introduce the day to day of their customer.
The main 3 reasons why you should provide this service to your customers!
According to an internal survey of Hiku, 69 % found it very convenient. In addition, 77% would recommend it to a friend or relative.
New Chronodrive customer spend on average 40 minutes on the internet’s first order, this decrease to 16 minutes for regular customers and less than 5 minutes for Hiku users.
The Kitchen device own a scanner for barcode products as well as an integrated microphone which use voice recognition. In the test, 70% of requests was made by voice!
5. “Everything Bar code”: Soon a new Standard!
Digimarc and GS1 US are collaborating to expand their barcode around the world. Printed everywhere on the product, the invisible global bar-code allows a faster collection of products in the cashier line. This increase the efficiency of the store but it’s not all. The printed code can be combined with 2D codes or serial number allowing authentification, direct marketing or redirection toward information, photos, vidéos ect…
6. Electronic Labels
On the supermarket shelfs are emerging IT solutions , such as Nutri Info, for developing recipes. The tool is based on a database of all ingredients, salt contents , sugar, fat, additives, allergens … On a radius of sale , the system allows users to edit labels with the composition as if it were industrial products.
7. Connected Labels to Push Promotions
Based on NFC (Near Field Communication ), it allows the consumer to get its smartphone product information, to shop and to enjoy discount coupons. It’s also a solution for supermarket with pickupstore services to help the employees save time during the preparation.
8. RFID to track each Step of your Supply Chain
RFID makes its way into the distribution , especially for critical sectors , such as meat, requiring foolproof tractability. RFID tags are affixed to the packaging as on pallets . They capture and provide information that can check during all stages of the distribution chain without the possibility of hijackings or incursion. It remains to miniaturize chips and optimize their interconnection with a remote communications.
9. Tracking Customer Buying Journey
Publicis Shopper ( France ) tracks the customer buying journey (in opt- in). They recently won two marketing prize (Atedem and POPAI) with “Share a Coke” campaign in supermarkets about shopping experience in-store of Coca cola. Same in UK with Ditto for Shoppertrak.
10. Measuring the Traffic Flows Instore
Bumbee Labs (Sweden) has people positioning systems. The IOPS application ( Indoor outdoor positioning system) measures the flow of traffic in malls or public space.
11. Best before Date Management to Reduce Wastage
Checkpoint developed a new system based on RFID label technology which help stores to limit their food wastage while making money. Mostly used on premium product due to the price of RFID labels, the solution allow the real-time updating of the stock after being scanned on the cashier line. An inventory of soon to be expired product is created and the shelf manager can use it to run some promotion to push them. According to checkpoint, The bêta version succeeded in decreasing loss from 35% and increasing sales from 7%.
12. LocalEyes & Mobeye Mission your Customers to Help You
These app allowing consumers to some accomplices to be paid by the marks so they took pictures on the location of the marks, on prices displayed on the juxtaposition of competing products , etc. – A solution already adopted if tested by Danone, Heineken.
13. Robots & humanoid Are Coming!
We Robots ( Attraktion company , Austria) have 3D sensors, and a display with keyboard . Mounted on wheels , they move independently and offer customers practical assistance : map of the store special requests on keyboard , etc.). See also Sephora -other models.
14. Wipro controls Your Shelves Filling
The indian company Wipro Technology proposes an automated system to control your shelves are well filled. In this purpose they use a robot similar to an Ipad up on a gyropode which reviews regularly each shelf. It detects if a product is missing to trigger a replenishment, misplaced products are target and the information is sent to the shelf manager to replace them. It could also allow to the brands like Nestlé, Danone ect… to monitore their product placement from the headoffice, but this will surely be depending the retailer…
15. Toshiba Invents the Instant Cash Checkout
Based on the use of three 3D cameras, the machine identificate firstly the customer, then scans the whole cart. Each packaging is identificated helped by 500 differents characteristiques dots to allow this performance.