As the food industry is getting more sophisticated to meet consumer demand, so is the technology producing it. From innovative manufacturing processes to household consumer goods, innovative solutions are reflected in all aspects of this industry.
A New Zealand couple were the first to try out Dominos drone pizza delivery. Dominos, in partnership with Flirtey done delivery service, flew out the couple’s chicken and cranberry pizza order to their back garden within less than five minutes, cutting on standard road delivery time.
Foodpanda, backed by Germany’s Rocket Internet, has tested drone food deliveries in Singapore. By rolling out deliveries throughout Singapore, they hope to improve delivery times to under 30 minutes when consumers purchase online.
Winemaker Hahn Estate is working with PrecisionHawk and Verizon to monitor the health of vineyards using data gathered by drones. The drones fly over the vines and collect information about canopy growth and density while Verizon’s sensors in the ground deliver information about soil moisture and temperature to farmers.
Japanese company Kawasaki has developed a robot capably of making sushi in under a minute. Currently, the only sushi it can make is nigri – a traditional sushi with a piece of fish on top of a ball of rice – which they demonstrated at their showroom in Tokyo.
Shanghai is home to the world’s first human-free fast food restaurant. KFC has partnered with search engine company Baidu to launch the first ever KFC with robots known as Du Mi which can take orders and process payments.
Momentum Machines robot
San Francisco based robotics startup, Momentum Machines has created a robot that can make 400 hamburgers in an hour. This robot is fully autonomous and can slice toppings, grill the patty and assemble the burger without any human interference.
Robots in one Shanghai restaurant prepare ramen from almost scratch in just 90 seconds. Although they cannot yet stretch the noodles, one robotic arm boils the noodles while the other makes the broth and assembles the dish.
Wacker 3D printable gum
Wacker Group recently announced the world’s first 3D printed gum. They already produce food resins for other companies but this time, they created their own novel formula specifically for 3D printable gum which can be personalised into any shape and design.
Myanmar farmers using 3D printing to improve farming
Proximity Designs has developed an efficient way to make prototypes through 3D printing such as equipment for sprinkler systems and water pumps. This provides farmers in the remote locations common in Myanmar access to improved farming equipment without the hassle of obtaining new and expensive equipment.
Barcelona based company, Natural Machines, has developed Foodini, a 3D food printer to be used in the home capable of printing pizzas, spaghetti and burgers. Although this has attracted many food manufacturers, Foodini believe they are still a few years away from reaching the household.
The Humaleon System, designed by Teerapol O-charoen, projects holograms of famous chefs into the kitchen to assist with cooking. The system is made of heat resistant and waterproof polybutadiene and gives lists of ingredients, tutorials and recipes. The sensors on the system can detect exact proportions and once the dish is made, users can share it on social media and compare the dishes with others.
Adding to the range of their smart devices, Electrolux designed The Smart Knife to help assess the freshness of food while chopping it. With plenty of high-tech features like wireless charging, a safety lock and a touchscreen interface, the knife tells you about the toxicity or bacterial level of your meat or vegetables.
Tellspec is a device for consumers to analyse food at the molecular level. The system includes a sensor, cloud based analysis engine and a mobile app. Once the food has been scanned, it identifies the details of the ingredients and nutritional value and delivers it to the mobile app.
Designed by Swiss scientists, FOODsniffer uses a sensor that detects gasses from the meat to examine its freshness. The wireless device uses a cloud based algorithm to analyse the information and serves it to your phone.
whirlpool Zera home recycler
Zera is a food recycler for the home. It turns everyday food waste into compost to help nourish soil. It can recycle a week’s worth of food within 24 hours which can be added to plant pots or gardens.
Panasonic flat top cooker
Panasonic has unveiled their smart flat top cooker which allows food to be cooked directly on a plate by placing a specialised lid on top. When the metal rimmed lid touches the table, the ingredients begin to heat up – one way to save washing up.
Freight Farms is an entire farm inside an insulated container with a hydroponic growing system. The climate within the container maintained at optimum growing conditions with environmental sensors to control temperature, humidity and CO2 levels while LED lighting delivers optimal wavelengths to mimic sunlight.
If your smartphone weather app is as unpredictable as the rain in the UK, Booster Ag-tech will help you out. Although on the surface it seems like a weather forecast app, its focus is on improved farming. You can connect it to your computer, tablet or phone to find the optimal conditions for farming according to the current climate conditions.
Wakati increases the shelf life of fruits and vegetables post-harvest without cooling the temperature, to help farmers in developing countries. Designed with solar panels, it creates a micro climate to increase the shelf life of crops. Capable of storing up to 200 kg of fruit and veg, it requires just one litre of water a week.
This kitchen timer app helps you prepare all your dishes in time. The app’s user interface resembles a kitchen stove with the hobs as individual timer spots, so when you’re cooking, you can time multiple dishes.
Humane Eating Project
This app helps consumers find humane restaurants by classifying them as vegan/vegetarian, human friendly or on a watch list (for those serving items such as foie gras or veal). It identifies the restaurants on a map and colour coordinates them to notify users when they are indecisive about their next dining choices.
This app helps food shopping for those with specific allergies or dietary requirements such as gluten or lactose intolerances. The app can advise on allergies just by scanning the barcode, if a food doesn’t fit the specific preferences, it offers alternative options in that family of food products.