5 food industry technologies foodies will love
People who are connoisseurs of certain foods and beverages are interested in protecting the purity of the cooking, brewing, and fermentation processes. They understand that it takes patience to create a truly unique meal or vintage.
But don’t assume these folks are anti-technology. They can, and do, appreciate tech that doesn’t interfere with taste, purity, or food safety. Here are five examples of technologies the food and beverage industry uses that can make foodies happy.
High Pressure Processing (HPP)
HPP—also known as cold pasteurisation and high pressure pascalisation—is an alternate way to remove bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and e. coli from food products. Unlike pasteurisation, which relies on heat, HPP uses very high pressures, up to 87,000 pounds per square inch, according to Food Safety News. Because heat isn’t involved, it doesn’t change flavor and has minimal impact on food appearance.
Nitrogenated IPA beer
The little balls that rattle inside some beer cans from England are “widgets” created by Guinness 60 years ago. They hold a combination of gas and liquid that creates the famous “head” when the beer is poured. Last year, Guinness introduced its first-ever IPA (India Pale Ale), Nitro IPA, which, unlike other IPAs, also has that lovely head. Nitro IPA is made from five hops blended in a unique “ultrahopping” process.
A special nitro widget is added to remove additional resin that might be left over from the ultrahopping and retain the famous Guinness head. The result is “a thick cake of whitehead,” All About Beer Magazine says, “with an excellent mouthfeel.” Brewpublic praises that the resulting hops balance lets Nitro “pair well with a variety of beers.”
Personal produce indoor farming
The backyard garden is coming inside, Cool Hunting reports. Companies like Click & Grow, SproutsIO, and Urban Cultivator create indoor gardening systems that combine hydroponics (growing plants in sand, liquid, or gravel, but not soil) and aeroponics (in which roots are suspended in air). Watering and lighting can be done manually or through automated systems, thanks to the Internet of Things.
Customised vending machines
These are touch-screen (of course) vending machines that dispense customised foods or drinks. MooBella is one example. This “ice creamery” machine lets customers choose from up to 12 flavors and mixers that create 96 combinations, in Premium or Light options. Ingredients are 100 percent natural. Coca-Cola’s Freestyle vending machine offers all 28 Coke products to mix and match. There’s also an app for it, natch.
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, had quite a beating a couple of years ago, many from foodies or organisations to which they are sympathetic or even allied. But at least some of the anger – which comes from the practice of altering the DNA of foods with DNA from another source – may be misplaced, says LiveScience. GMOs are used to help produce like apples and potatoes naturally last longer without altering taste or nutrition. GMO-modified tomatoes, which became a symbol of the fight, resist frost, which is good for farmers and consumers alike. GMO practices have helped farmed foods safely resist insects without spraying pesticides, drought, and disease, according to the National Library of Medicine. Several respected scientific and medical groups say have concluded that GMOs are safe and in some cases, reduce use of shrinking resources like water and fossil fuels.