March 10th, 2014
06:30 PM ET
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Take one big, bad, legendary computer, a social network and a team of adventurous chefs, then mix them up inside a food truck. Serve up the results to a line of curious, hungry festival-goers eager to sample the world’s first man-machine fusion food.

It's called "cognitive cooking" and here is how it works: Twitter users employing the hashtag #ibmfoodtruck and voters on IBM's website pick a familiar dish like kebabs or fish and chips. Then IBM's Watson supercomputer (best known to non-techies for its appearance on the TV show "Jeopardy") creates a long list of eight or more ingredients based upon a chemical analysis of their flavor compounds. Finally, the dish is conceived, prepared and served from a food truck by a team of cooks co-led by Michael Laiskonis and James Briscione of New York City's Institute of Culinary Education.
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Filed under: Chefs • Events • Food Science • SXSW • Technology • Twitter


Subway removes controversial chemical from bread
February 7th, 2014
09:59 AM ET
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Take a look at ingredients for some varieties of Subway's bread and you'll find a chemical that may seem unfamiliar and hard to pronounce: azodicarbonamide.

To say this word, you would emphasize the syllable "bon" - but the attention the chemical has been getting has not been good. Besides bread, the chemical is also found in yoga mats and shoe soles to add elasticity.
But it's not long for bread at Subway: The company says it's coming out.

"We are already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is (a) USDA and FDA approved ingredient," Subway said in a statement. "The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon."
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Filed under: Food Safety • Food Science • Health News • Subway


Does microwaving nuke nutrition?
January 22nd, 2014
10:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: upwave is Turner Broadcasting's new lifestyle brand designed to entertain the health into you! Visit upwave.com for more information and follow upwave on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram @upwave.

The rumor: Zapping food in a microwave leaches out key nutrients

We've all heard about how microwaving food removes some nutritional value, but is it true? Is something bad happening to our food behind that microwave glass?
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Filed under: Food Science • Health News


Hershey's 3-D printer: dream it, print it, eat it
January 16th, 2014
11:45 PM ET
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Because apparently Americans don't have easy enough access to junk food, soon getting a candy bar could be as easy as hitting "print."

3D Systems announced a deal with Hershey's Thursday to collaborate on developing a 3-D printer that makes chocolate and other edible products.
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Filed under: Food Science • Technology


November 28th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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Before you tuck in to your gravy-drenched, slow-roasted turkey this Thanksgiving, you might want to give thanks that you’re not circling above the earth at 17,500 miles per hour. Forget for a moment that you probably couldn’t even keep the food down in microgravity – would you be willing to trade those creamy mashed potatoes or Grandma’s green been casserole for something freeze-dried and wrapped in plastic?

For six astronauts currently working more than 200 miles above the surface of the earth, that choice is easy, as freeze-dried, irradiated and thermostablized food items are their only options. Luckily for them, food scientist Vickie Kloeris and her team at NASA have developed shelf-stable Thanksgiving meals to celebrate the holiday on the International Space Station. First though, they had to figure out a way to make the food taste good in space.

“One of our biggest challenges is that crew members in orbit do report that they feel like their taste buds are somewhat dulled,” Kloeris told CNN from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
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Filed under: Food Science • Holidays • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving


August 30th, 2013
12:45 PM ET
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Your cooking partner is a robot, your fridge can talk, and your plate is your own personal dietician. Oh, and for a laugh you occasionally have a cook-off with a famous holographic chef.

This may sound like a scene from 1960s sci-fi cartoon The Jetsons, but the kitchens in coming decades may not be so far off those envisioned by futurologists.
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Filed under: Food Science


August 16th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
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With enough practice any hack can create a CAD rendering of a blender or produce an iPhone mockup that'll earn hundreds of likes on Dribbble, but designing a device that convinces people to make a meal out of maggots? That requires a special level of skill. Designer Katharina Unger is on a mission to make eating insects irresistible.

The recent graduate from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and current Fulbright Scholar devoted her thesis project, called Farm 432: Insect Breeding, to developing an appliance that incubates insects for human consumption. The striking blue and white vessel is stocked with one gram of black soldier fly eggs, and over a period of 18 days, the eggs move through the device's chambers, gestating, reproducing, and ultimately producing 2.4 kilograms of nutritious, if slightly nauseating, fly larva.
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Filed under: Food Science • Insects • Technology


Opinion: Embrace the lab burger
August 8th, 2013
05:16 PM ET
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Editor's note: Isha Datar is the director of New Harvest, a nonprofit group founded in 2004 to promote the development of cultured meat.

On Monday, three lucky diners nibbled a $325,000 burger - not in the name of luxury but in the name of science, animal rights and sustainability. The meat was grown in a lab.

This in-vitro hamburger is "cultured" in many different ways: It's the product of human ingenuity, it's considerate of humans, animals and the planet, and it's produced through growing cells.
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August 5th, 2013
12:45 PM ET
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The world's first stem cell burger was cooked and eaten in London today.

The brainchild of Maastricht University's Mark Post, the burger was made of 20,000 small strands of meat grown from a cow's muscle cells and took three months to create.

Breadcrumbs and some egg powder were added to the cultured beef to make it taste like a normal beef burger. To give it a beefy color, red beet juice and saffron were added. Chef Richard McGeown fried the stem cell burger with sunflower oil and butter and remarked that it looked slightly paler than a traditional burger.
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