Last week the Consumer Electronics Show revealed some of the most exciting tech innovations being developed around the world. For the food industry, new gadgets mostly centered around sustainability, artificial intelligence, and health.
According to the Associated Press, smart tech is on the menu of the future, and will soon change how we cook at home. It connects your everyday kitchen appliances with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analysis; giving them the ability to learn and respond to your needs. In other words, one day your appliances will know exactly when your produce is perfectly ripe, or what temperature your stovetop needs to be for a delicious pan-seared steak.
While The Jetsons Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle is still far off, these game changing kitchen gadgets are taking us one step closer. To get you excited for what’s on the culinary horizon, below is a list of some of this year's most innovative food technology.
OneThird’s Ripeness Checker Reduces Waste
A common thing many of us find tricky when we go grocery shopping is knowing how to pick ripe produce. In the future, technology will ensure all available produce is organized by ripeness, and help reduce waste in the process.
Dutch startup OneThird unveiled a gadget that’s designed to scan avocados and determine whether they’re ripe or not. Along the food supply chain, the company is also working with growers and distributors to monitor and forecast the shelf life of produce. According to The World Counts, nearly 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted worldwide each year.
Tramontina Guru’s Worry-Free StoveTop
Tramontina Guru, a Brazilian company, has created a way for you to make perfect recipes. Their smart induction cooktop comes equipped with over 200 recipes that can be easily loaded up for your cooking pleasure. Each recipe can also be customized to your preference as the app guides you through each step.
You no longer have to select the exact temperature or monitor the process in order to enjoy a rare, medium, or well-done steak. The stovetop weighs ingredients added to pots, and chooses the right temperature, along with cook time.
Available as early as spring of this year, you can experience Tramontina Guru’s smart induction cooktop for the low price of $299. Hopefully they include a random mode for people who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.
Get Interactive Cooking Classes With Blok
Blok plans to offer live cooking classes using a digital display that’s attached to a cutting board. Sleekly designed, home chefs can subscribe to sessions that feature professional chefs, with classes being 30 minutes or less.
The product was inspired by the pandemic, which prevented creators Alissa and Tony Frick from gathering with their family to cook meals together. Blok will also allow friends and family members in different locations to participate in virtual cooking classes.
Available for pre-order on their website, the Fricks have already sold 100 units. Once the gadgets hit the market, they anticipate the cutting board costing $299-$399, and the app subscription costing $9.99/month.
Weigh Ingredients With GE’s Smart Mixer
Household appliance juggernaut GE showcased a smart mixer from their sleek Profile line. Poised to lower the baking learning curve, their smart mixer weighs ingredients in the bowl while you mix.
Surprisingly sensitive, the built in auto sensor also notices changes in texture and viscosity, and will adjust mixing speed accordingly. If that isn’t enough future flare, it’s also voice-controlled and comes with recipes that users can access through an app.
VersaWare Simplifies Nutrition Tracking
In a world full of constantly shifting dietary trends, the next frontier of personal health will be customized eating habits. Joining the growing movement is VersaWare, a company that designs kitchen tools that track nutritional information. The company has created a cutting board and mixing bowl that are attached to a device which displays recipes and food-related information.
Similar to an app that tracks your daily movement, users are provided with statistics about the recipes they make. VersaWare also has an app that syncs with appliances to offer customized recipes based on your nutritional needs and goals. It can literally adjust the calories in a recipe to suit you.
“The conventional process of monitoring and tracking the food you eat is a hassle that is time-consuming, labor intensive, and frankly inaccurate,” said one of the founders, Creed McKinnon, in a press release. “It should not be a burden to simply understand the breakdown of what we eat, and we realized that data paired with the corresponding ingredients' weight would make this process as quick and easy as possible — it really is a game changer for nutritionally conscious individuals.”
Aromyx Personalizes Food Recommendations
Analyzing human senses allows Aromyx’s smart tech to recommend food and drink that matches personal tastes. Interestingly, it achieves this by monitoring human biological responses to taste and smell using artificial intelligence.
Through this method, it’s capable of offering individualized recommendations that are more accurate than analyzing purchasing behavior. The video above demonstrates how their “Sensory Recommendation Tech” can be used in a consumer-friendly bar setting.
According to their website, “Aromyx technology uses the receptors in the nose and on the tongue to evaluate your products. Our proprietary methods of data collection ensure that these valuable insights are captured with the highest degree of accuracy. We use these results to quantify similarities and differences in taste and smell when compared to your selected standard.”
Nuvilab Scans Plates For Calories
As previously mentioned, food waste is a major problem the world faces. Food tech startup Nuvilab plans to reduce waste with their AI Food Scanner. In only one second it automatically analyzes the amount of food, how much is consumed, and leftover food by the user.
The tech will allow companies and consumers to more efficiently track caloric and nutrient intake, improving overall eating habits. It can also optimize taking and making orders, along with predicting how much water will be consumed.
In a press release, Kelly Kim, the marketing leader of Nuvilab, said, "Our company plans on not only developing solutions to reduce food waste, but also technology for an integrated system that can manage and control the carbon produced in the process of food production, distribution, and consumption."
Cogni Ensures The Perfect Glass Of Wine
Simplifying the wine-making process, the Cogni Wine Barrel Monitor from Simple Labs tracks the temperature, humidity, acetic acid, pH and more inside wine barrels. Winemakers are notified via an app or desktop, allowing them to avoid potential issues and make necessary adjustments.
"Of great benefit to wineries is the ability to immediately extract data from anywhere in the world, creating the ability to detect potential problems in the winemaking process before an issue occurs, as well as opportunities to better take care of wines in barrel," said Simple Labs Founder and CEO Mike Slone, who invented Cogni, "In addition to optimizing the winemaking process, there are also labor cost savings in the cellar, and savings in terms of sending samples out to an exterior lab."
These kitchen gadgets are just a taste of what the future of food tech has to offer. Through smart use of design, we’re fully capable of innovating in ways that can make for more improved health, sustainability, and even better tasting recipes. Some of these are already available, and others will soon hit the consumer market, taking us one step closer to a smarter future.