Happy weekend! We hope you can fit in some time during this lovely spring weekend to catch up on some interesting news in the food tech space. This week we rounded up stories on a new material used to determine seafood spoilage, Molson Canada’s beer cooler vacuum invention, Ikea’s food accelerator program, and a search for startups disrupting the retail sector.
If you haven’t heard, The Spoon is hosting “ArticulATE: The Food Robotics Summit” on Tuesday, May 18th. The event is approaching fast, so get your ticket today!
Scientists create color-changing material to detect seafood spoilage
German and Chinese scientists used inspiration from chameleons to create a material that changes colors to indicate when seafood has gone bad. The new material incorporates luminogens, which glow and change color when exposed to different factors like a change in temperature of pH. The scientists put test strips of the material in boxes of fresh shrimp and fish for 50 hours, with one box stored at 14 degrees and the other at 86 degrees. The test strip in the 14-degree box stayed red (indicating the seafood was still fresh), while the strip in the 86 degree box changed to a vivid green (indicating spoilage).
Molson Canada designs hybrid beer cooler and vacuum
Cleaning the house and drinking beer goes together nicely (especially when you don’t need to leave the couch), and this week Molson Canada created a part beer cooler part vacuum to accommodate just that. The robot is called “Molson Brewmboni”, which holds four Molson Canadian tallboys and functions as an autonomous vacuum. The NHL (National Hockey League) will be mostly virtual for fans in Canada for the second year in a row, so this invention was created in hopes of emulating the familiar sounds of the Zamboni on the hockey rink. Unfortunately, it is not available for purchase, but it may be in the future on the product’s website. In the meantime, the company is offering the CAD files of the robot vacuum for anyone interested in building it themselves.
Ikea launches accelerator program to meet goal of serving 50% plant-based foods
Last year, Ikea made the announcement that by 2025, 50 percent of its menu items and 80 percent of its packaged foods would be vegan. To take steps towards that goal, the Scandinavian chain just launched its Food Innovation Accelerator Program. The program is looking for food startups that are focused on sustainable solutions and the ability to scale plant-based food businesses. Ikea currently has a few vegan options like its plant-based hot dog, and “plant balls”, and alternative for meatballs made from oats and pea protein.
Sonae Mc is scouting for start ups to disrupt retail sector
Sonae Mc, a food retail market chain in Portugal, is currently accepting applications for the second edition of its Disrupt Retail. The corporation seeks to find start-ups specifically focused on the categories of health and wellness, e-commerce, crowdsourcing, sustainability, personalized shopping experiences, and others. Those who are accepted will receive mentorship, in-store testing of the technology, access to a network of partners, and exposure to potential investors. Applications are open until June 30 on Disrupt Retail’s website.