Following up on our reporting on Hershey’s CocoJet 3D chocolate printer, we wanted to dig a little deeper and see what other innovations in food technology exist. Here are three tech-forward culinary creations that we discovered:
The Veggie Vending Machine
Chicago-based company Farmer’s Fridge has created a vending machine for veggies. The idea is simple: every day, fresh organic salads consisting of veggies, cheese, fruit and nuts are tossed together, packed into a recyclable plastic container and delivered to a kiosk similar to a standard vending machine by 11 a.m. You insert your money, press B3 and voila! Instead of a bag of neon orange Cheetos, you get a fresh Cobb salad. The experience even includes a display with ingredient info and nutritional info. Bonus points: The kiosk itself is made from reclaimed wood and recycled materials.
Chef Watson’s Cognitive Cooking
IBM’s Jeopardy-winning supercomputer has a new gig. Chef Watson – the world’s first “Cognitive Cooking Application” – creates brand-new recipes based on inputs of key ingredients, type of cuisine, dietary needs, personal tastes and nutritional information. Software engineer Florian Pinel developed models that help Watson predict the pleasantness and novelty of flavors to generate hundreds of never-before-seen recipe ideas from billions of possible combinations. The technology can help people with diabetes tailor satisfying dishes that regulate their blood sugar level or reduce the amount of food waste by creating recipes based on leftover ingredients.
Also known as avant-garde cuisine, molecular gastronomy uses chemistry to alter the textures and tastes of food and let chefs turn the kitchen into a laboratory. New York City-based chef Wylie Dufresne – chef and owner of the wd~50 and Alder restaurants in Manhattan who has appeared on shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef America – has helped popularize the edgy mix of the scientific and surreal cuisine, creating bizarre and unlikely recipes and combinations like solid cocktails, powdered food, deconstructed desserts, vegetable foams, liquid nitrogen ice cream and see-through ravioli.