CES is massive, but it’s sheer size means that there are all kinds of delightful products hiding in the nooks and crannies of the convention center(s).
South Korea’s Hanyang University has a row of small booths showing off device prototypes based on research conducted at the school. One such device was the O2N2, a combination system of plastic food and beverage storage containers and what is essentially a nitrogren gas filter/pump.
The O2N2 removes oxygen from the plastic containers and replaces it with a nitrogren-rich environment. The science gets pretty complex, but the university developed a special membrane that filters out the oxygen and can create adjustable nitrogen levels inside the container. The result, O2N2 researchers told me, was that the nitrogen environments can keep food and beverages like wine fresher for longer periods of time. Here’s a chart they provided outlining their results:
Removing oxygen from food storage containers isn’t new. Silo vacuum pumps the air out of its storage boxes, and wine preservers like Syphon and Coravin inject argon gas into bottles to make wine last longer. So it seems like the O2N2 system could do much the same. Plus, you have the added benefit of re-useable containers and less waste.
And in a very floor wax & dessert topping kind of way, the O2N2 can also serve as a health-related tool for people who need oxygen-rich environments. Check out the video below for a deeper explanation of the technology.
There weren’t any pricing details, and who knows if O2N2 will ever actually make it to store shelves, but I’m glad I discovered more about how some researchers are thinking about food storage.