LiquiGlide, developed by a team at MIT's Varanasi Research Group, is a surface coating that liberates the notoriously non-Newtonian fluid ketchup from its glass- or plastic-walled prison. The research came in second in MIT's $100K Entrepreneurship Challenge, and is almost certainly destined for a bottle near you. Watch its graceful performance below in a video from Fast Co.Exist.
By Sarah FechtPosted 05.14.2012 at 5:56 pm 0 Comments
Portable grills tend to reach only 500ºF, but the designers of the Cook-Air from Cata Marketing ($200, or $220 in a kit) added a ventilation system to get theirs twice as hot. An electric fan acts as a bellows, blowing a continuous stream of fresh air onto the grill's wood-fueled fire. In just five minutes, temperatures at the grate can reach 1,100º—the same at which a professional steakhouse cooks meat.
Barb Stuckey hands me a plastic tray of mashed potatoes sealed with an opaque layer of film. “We packaged these up over a year ago,” she says. The United States Potato Board has asked Stuckey and her colleagues at Mattson, a commercial food lab in Foster City, California, to devise a way to put fresh, ready-to-eat mashed potatoes into a package that can sit unrefrigerated on a supermarket shelf for months. Just open, warm, and serve.
When Popular Science was acquired by Sweden's Bonnier Corporation in 2007, some people thought we'd be eating surströmming, the legendary Scandinavian delicacy of fish left to ferment in cans till the cans almost burst, every day. But in fact, the famously putrid herring has been utterly absent from these shores -- until today, when Dave Arnold invited me to come crack open a (ominously bulging) can of it that he'd smuggled back from Sweden. Scientific curiosity demanded that I investigate.
The Stem is a teeny little bit of plastic from Quirky.com, a sort of invention incubator and store, that looks like the top half of a spritzer bottle. Instead of having an actual bottle or vessel on the bottom, filled with the liquid to be spritzed, the Stem ends abruptly with a serrated edge. To use it, you take a whole citrus fruit and stab it with the Stem. Bam: Instant spritzer.
Ardbeg, makers of extremely peaty Scotch whisky, has launched samples of its product into space. Not as a gift from Earth to extraterrestrial races, nor even as a refreshment for human astronauts -- no, the idea is to study how whisky ages in zero-gravity conditions.
The creators of this video and project describe it as a "game," which it isn't, really, but it is really, really cool: you make a sort of extra-firm Jello-like product by mixing water, agar agar, and some food coloring (optional, but why wouldn't you want your final product to be blue or pink?) in a mold. After it firms up, you put it on the "game board," actually a capacitive sensor with an embedded Arduino microprocessor, which detects different kinds of touch on the Jello mold and converts it into theremin-like noises. Fun (and a little appetizing)! Video below.
By Emily ElertPosted 03.27.2012 at 10:19 am 4 Comments
People who have a lot of papillae—the bumps on our tongue, most of which house our taste buds—often find flavors overwhelming. They’re “supertasters,” and as such they add cream to their coffee and order food mild instead of spicy. Subtasters, on the other hand, have low papillae density and prefer their chicken wings “atomic.”
The idea that Canadian sommellier François Chartier presents in his book Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor is a very intriguing one. Look at the aroma molecules that give foods and wines their characters, he says, and use that as a basis for pairing foods with wines and with each other. Instead of years of tastings and trial and error, a few simple principles and charts can guarantee exquisite pairings every time.
Intriguing idea, yes; but the author sets it out in a hodgepodge of details with a diaphanous veneer of science, direly lacking the clear explanations of cause and effect that would make it truly useful.