In the sometimes strange world of food technology, one of the many aspects of food that gets measured is its texture, and accuracy is key. That's why your grocery-store cookies are always reliably chewy from one batch to the next, and that's why it's possible to while away an afternoon on YouTube in10-second increments gawking at texture analysis machines. Here's a look at a few of the best.
When the need arises for a very specific type of robot, odds are pretty good it exists in Japan. A new Japanese robot can make 2,500 fried tofu rolls per hour, puffing little triangles of tofu with air and stuffing them with rice with precision and speed.
It is so careful that the designers, based at Suzumo, compare it to a syringe: The fried tofu skin is opened quickly, and then more air is blown in so the rice can be inserted.
We have a soft spot for American cheese, viewed in a hazy glow of nostalgia, but we wouldn't exactly call it "good" cheese. Or "cheese." Still, it has one major advantage over cheeses made from, like, dairy products: it melts perfectly. Luckily, Nathan Myhrvold and the Modernist Cuisine team have figured out a way to give any cheese that perfect meltiness--just needs a little sodium citrate. Our friends at Saveur have the (surprisingly simple) recipe. And don't forget to check out the rest of this week's food tech coverage.
Nathan Myhrvold knows that the work he and his Modernist Cuisine team do can be a little intimidating or frightening, but he's not going to stand for misconceived reactions--like, "why does your food have so many chemicals in it?" Cheese, wine, bread, and vinegar, he notes, among many more, are created through incredibly complex and unnatural processes with unnatural products. Our friends at Saveur posted his thoughts, along with a great mini-guide to some of his commonly used ingredients.
De-boning a chicken, duck or other bird can be an arduous and unpleasant task — even Julia Child said it could take way too long "because of fright." Yet with patience and the right knife, any human can do it. But a robot?
Robots may be able to assist with surgery, but chicken butchering is, in some ways, more of a challenge, and one that engineers at Georgia Tech are hoping to solve.
Last year, we saw chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of restaurant Mugaritz demonstrate a couple of his high-tech, artful, playful dishes: his fool-the-eye walnuts, his artificial eggs. This month he presents the world with the Mugaritz cookbook, a striking glossy tome that sets forth the holistic, highly experimental philosophy of the restaurant in the Basque countryside.
Flavor scientist Arielle Johnson discusses the creative side of culinary chemistry
By Arielle JohnsonPosted 06.13.2012 at 12:01 pm 1 Comment
Think you know the fresh, lemony taste of lemongrass, or the lush herbal taste of basil? Most of what we experience as "taste" actually comes from our sense of smell, not from our tastebuds. Volatile compounds -- molecules light enough to produce a vapor or gas -- play a key role in how we experience food and drink (as well as fragrances and scents). But the complex ways in which we perceive these molecules as flavor is not nearly as straightforward as pure chemistry, making understanding flavor partly, but not completely, a chemical question.
Dairy cows are pretty docile creatures, so as animals go, they’re also pretty good candidates for handling via heavy machinery. And there may be no better task to automate than milking — it’s repetitive, it’s predictable, it’s unpleasant. A pair of new robotic milk factories can do the job, using robotic teat washers, robot cups, instant milk analyzers, and robot teat stimulators.
It's not unlikely that your grandparent used canning jars for their original purpose: canning. But here in the twenty-first-century kitchen, the hard-to-destroy, easy-to-seal jar has become valuable for many more purposes. We love it -- and not just because one of the most popular models is manufactured by aerospace pioneer Ball.
Saveur uncovers a trove of restaurant reviews written for the technological crowd
By Hugh MerwinPosted 06.12.2012 at 12:06 pm 0 Comments
Robert Browning Sosman, a physical chemist who died in 1967 at the age of 86, packed many careers into one lifetime. He wrote the definitive book on the chemical compound silica; was the seventh person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail; and, at home in New Jersey, kept a 3,500-strong map collection.