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January 16, 2024
Nestled among the glitz and glamor of this year’s International Consumer Electronic Show (CES), held Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas, was a fresh take on how technology is driving a global shift in the systems that prepare, deliver and dispose of humanity’s most precious resource: food.
Consumer Technology Association once again hosted this event, with an estimated 130,000 attendees and more than 4,000 exhibitors, including 1,200 startups. Many of these companies showcased food-focused tech. Here are our top five favorites.
Sevvy is dedicated to making cooking and baking healthier, faster and more sustainable. Its Smart Cooker technology — which won a Best of Innovation award at CES 2024 — employs pulsed electric field technology to prepare food at lower temperatures using 90% less energy than traditional ovens.
“It preserves taste; retains 40% more nutrients; uses less salt, sugar and cooking fats; and serves up highly tasty results,” Kamiel de Leur, Sevvy’s managing director and CEO, said. “Sevvy technology is also fast: The base of the blueberry muffins prepared at CES 2024 was baked in less than three minutes, and the CES audience loved the taste.”
Besides consumer applications, this scalable technology has the potential to transform cooking in various industries, from catering and hospitality to retail and bakeries.
Cold brewing coffee and tea usually takes at least 8 hours, but with Coldraw’s tech, you can steep refreshing and tasty botanical beverages in just 10 minutes.
“We use technology to regulate factors like air pressure and temperature,” Eriko Muteki, a representative from Coldraw, said. “Coldraw combines various botanical ingredients to make a single drink, which is characterized by a very aromatic and rich flavor. It is also healthy because it contains no sugar or additives.”
One of the coolest parts of this tech — which was an honoree for a CES innovation award — is that mixologists aren’t limited to one type of ingredient. Coldraw developed the recipe for the welcome drink at the ASEAN-Japan Young Business Leaders’ Summit and Generation Z Business Leaders’ Summit, held December 2023. These flavor experts used more than 10 popular regional botanicals, including spices, herbs, fruits and teas.
FooDoo’s tech is all about providing high-quality premade meals through a network of smart “microstores,” which use predictive analytics to ensure freshness, reduce waste and optimize supply chains. Basically, it’s a vending machine that serves nutritious foods.
“It's a game-changer in quick, quality food access,” Nik Makarov, co-founder and chief procurement officer at FooDoo, said. “Our goal is to revolutionize the food and beverage industry by implementing our technology in multifamily properties, university campuses, hospitals and commercial spaces … it’s not just about quick meals, but about a responsible, forward-thinking approach to food distribution.”
Brewing beer at home usually means choosing between two options:
Buying an array of gear, from five-gallon buckets to tools like hydrometers, which allow for unparalleled control and a higher-quality result.
Buying a self-contained homebrewing kit that uses liquid malt extract, such as Mr. Beer.
Exobrew is looking to change that, combining the quality-focused process of traditional homebrewing with the speed and ease of use of an in-the-keg brewer. It achieves this by adapting the tech to prioritize natural ingredients and avoid extracts or additives.
“With our compact machine connected to the cloud, making 1.6 gallons of craft beer, kombucha and ciders at home has never been more accessible,” Bart van de Kooij, founder and CEO of Exobrew, said. “The innovation lies in a single vessel that brews, ferments and taps — no transfers or fridges needed.”
According to Compocity, a good portion of compostable office waste ends up rotting in landfills rather than nourishing the soil.
“Compocity helps companies transform their food waste through playful sustainability challenges and local soil nourishment in a gamified, trackable way,” Emese Pancsa, founder and CEO, said. “Compocity is a real on-site, small-scale, industrial solution to turn communities' food waste into soil food with a playful composting chef called CompoBot and an impact-tracking app that revolutionizes how climate tech becomes a community-building employer branding tool.”
A single CompoBot can process more than 1,500 pounds of fermented organic waste and prevent nearly 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Although based in the EU, Compocity is preparing for a future U.S. service launch.
Staff writer, Food & Beverage Insider
Scott Miller brings two decades of experience as a writer, editor, and communications specialist to Food & Beverage Insider. He’s done a little of everything, from walking a beat as a freelance journalist to taking the Big Red Pen to massive technical volumes. He even ran a professional brewing industry website for several years, leveling up content delivery during an era when everyone had a blog.
Since starting at Food & Beverage Insider, he’s written pieces on the price of greenwashing (and how to avoid it), debunked studies that served little to no purpose (other than upsetting the public) and explained the benefits of caffeine alternatives, along with various other stories on trends and events.
Scott is particularly interested in how science, technology and industry are converging to answer tomorrow’s big questions about food insecurity, climate change and more.
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