If you’re anything like me, the days blur together easily after months of stay-at-home orders, and you probably have to look at a calendar to determine what day it is. However, our Food Tech News is out today, which means it’s a Saturday! This week, we have stories on artificial pollination in almond orchards, Brave Robot’s nationwide expansion, Keurig’s phone app, and a fully plant-based Starbucks location.
Edete to use artificial pollination for Australian almond orchard
Edete Precision Technologies for Agriculture, an ag tech startup based in Israel, recently signed a contract with one of Australia’s largest almond orchards. This August, when the almonds trees begin to bloom, Edete will apply its artificial pollination technology to the almond trees. The company’s machines collect flowers and then separate out the pollen. The collected pollen can be stored for up to a year, and when trees are ready to be pollinated, the machines dispense the optimal amount of pollen per flower. Due to the decline of pollinators and issues like bee colony collapse disorder, crops that require insect pollination (around 75% of all crops) are at risk for severe yield declines, so Edete’s technology may become crucial in the upcoming years. The company also plans to work with almond growers in California.
Brave Robot is now available in 5,000 stores across US
Brave Robot, a brand of The Urgent Company, shared that its animal-free flora-based ice cream is now available in 5,000 locations across the US. The ice cream comes in eight flavors, and uses Perfect Day’s proprietary animal-free whey. Although the ice cream does not require the use of cows for milk, it does contain dairy because the whey protein is essentially an exact replica of whey protein from cows. Brave Robot ice cream is available in stores like Kroger, Sprouts, Safeway, Lassen’s, and Ralph’s throughout the US.
Keurig announces new phone controlled and touchless brewing feature
Keurig Commercial announced a new touchless feature available for its commercial coffee makers intended for workplaces. Users can download the Keurig Remote Brew App, and through the app select which coffee or specialty beverage they would like to brew. Developed with the existing Bluetooth Kit, the Remote Brew App can be used with Eccellenza Touch and Eccellenza Momentum models. This new feature was created to make coffee in a COVID-19 safe manner for those employees who may be returning to the workplace.
Starbucks to pilot fully plant-based location
An existing Starbucks location near Seattle, Washington will be piloted for offering only plant-based menu items. This was announced by Starbucks CEO in the recent Q1 earnings call, but it is unclear when the plant-based transition will occur, or which exact location it will be. On the Starbucks website, an article was released in January 2021 that shared that plant-based items will continue to be added at Starbucks locations globally as part of the company’s sustainability initiatives. New plant-based items being trialed in the U.S. include an Impossible breakfast sandwich, vegan bagels, oat milk, and a variety of almond milk-based beverages.