Top 5 Food Inventions
Chefs throughout the world, along with technology experts, spend hours every day, to change our relationship with our food. Here, we bring you the top 5 food inventions of the recent times and you will have to decide for yourself whether these inventions have changed the man into a better foodie or not:
1. The Cornucopia: The Cornucopia, or the 3D food printer, prints food, instead of paper and this was made possible by a pair of whiz kids, Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran, at MIT. Spelling out the next major revolution in food technology, this machine mixes foods and flavors from a number of canisters and produces something edible with the help of its rapid heating and cooling chambers. This “unexpected way of delivering food” is definitely a little mind-numbing. Although still in its nascent stage, the food printer is bound to be more than just some food for thought.
2. Space Plants: We all are suckers for greenery, right? Especially with the current debate over global warming, human beings have become over-sensitive about plants and trees. Amidst this concern, comes the news of a whole new species of plants growing in mid-air, where only water and a nutrient-laden mist is their sole source of survival. To grow plants in space, the scientists make use of 90% less water, 60% less fertilizer and almost not pesticides, in comparison to conventional method of growing plants. It happened way back in 1997 that the seeds of a tiny mustard plant sprouted in space, achieving the first critical step toward raising life in the space. Since then, in laboratories and classrooms around the world, the debate over space plants just keeps on growing every day.
3. The Automat: During the 1940s and 1950s, this equivalent of vending machines was popular as ever, making the Horn and Hardart duo, America’s first fast-food chain owners. All the customers had to do was put in a nickel, turn a knob and a little glass door would open up to serve their choice of food. The choice ranged from coffee, turkey and gravy, creamed spinach, Salisbury steak to coconut-cream, rice pudding and vanilla ice cream. The food was prepared in assembly-line kitchens and the Automat operated from 85 different locations in New York and Philadelphia. The Automat, however, had to give up in wake of fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King and the company closed down its last bakery café just five years ago.
4. The Heatables: Although not as fascinating as the food printer or the automat, the heatables referred to a self-heating food packaging, which could warm up any food item like coffee, tea, soup, pasta, etc to serving temperature within minutes. While the company behind the heatables, Tempra Technology, has not released much information on the operational aspect of this device, the packaging can surely heat food before being served.
5. I.C. Can: The self-cooling can follows the self-heating model and has been launched by the same company, Tempra Technology. This self-cooling device has been designed to reduce the temperature of its contents by at least 30 degrees and it does so within three minutes. Now it is upto you to decide whether you would like to drink your beer from the I.C. Can or not.
(Photo Courtesy: cdn.gajitz.com, www.theautomat.net)