Happy weekend, all! Before you delve into your plans of brunch or chore-doing, catch up on your weekly dose of food tech news. We rounded up a few stories that caught our eye this week, from cultured meat centers to AI-powered crops. Enjoy!
Strauss develops snack “cube” using NASA technology
Israeli food processing and manufacturing company, Strauss, announced this week that it has developed a using the same technology that NASA uses to make its space food (h/t Calcalis Tech). Called “Astro,” the snack is a cube is made from freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and grains. Despite its name and usage of NASA tech, it seems like Strauss’ new product is meant for earthbound folks, not astronauts.
New cell-based meat center coming to Mumbai
In India, the local government just gave the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) the go-ahead to create a cellular agriculture research center (read: cultured meat) in Mumbai, reports the Times of India. ICT will team up with the Good Food Institute, a non-profit promoting research in meat alternatives, to establish a lab facility in the area by 2020, followed by a larger research facility in 2021. The location of this center is an interesting choice, especially after JUST announced plans to launch its own cultured meat — the first to come to market — in Asia, not the U.S. (though it didn’t specify which country).
Australian agtech startup Flurosat raises A$3 million
Flurosat, an Australian startup which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to increase agricultural yields, just nabbed A$3 million (US $2.25 million) in funding (h/t Australian Financial Review). The company uses a combination of hyperspectral cameras and remote sensors to monitor crop conditions, passing real-time data along to growers. Images can be used to help diagnose disease and pest issues, and also detect water and nutrition deficits before they harm the plants. Flurosat’s funding comes from Australia’s Cooperative Research Centers Program, which manages the country’s A$29.9 million pot intended for investment in AI from 2018-2022.
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