Top 5 ways technology is changing food

Tom Merritt discusses the technologies that are making food smarter and healthier.
Written by Tom Merritt, Contributor

This article was originally published on TechRepublic.

Food technology is not just about smart ovens anymore--although, it is about that, too--it's also about sensors, health, and a whole lot more. Want to enjoy what you eat and be healthier? Here are five things to expect from food tech.

Also: From farm to plate via blockchain: Solving agriculture supply chain problems one grain at a time

  1. Delivery will overtake dine in. UBS projects food delivery will grow from $35 billion to $365 billion by 2030. Many startups are focused on providing shared kitchen space for delivery-only restaurants, both new and old.
  2. Swallowable sensors. Carnegie Mellon University is working to develop an ingestible sensor to monitor gut health, stimulate damaged tissue, or conduct targeted drug delivery. It could also provide a better way to track the nutrients you're getting.
  3. Tooth sensor. Don't want to take a pill to track your food? Tufts University School of Engineering has created a tooth sensor. The sensor is two millimeters by two millimeters, and it measures glucose, sugar, and alcohol levels, and transmits using extended RFID.
  4. Sensors as you eat. If you're not keen to have a sensor in your body at all, Baidu has developed smart chopsticks that can detect temperature, the freshness of cooking oil, as well as (someday) report on the nutrients in your meals.
  5. Food blockchain. Several companies, like IBM, have developed blockchain implementations for tracking food delivery. The idea is you can scan an item in the store and tell where it was grown and when it was shipped. This is helpful for the consumer, and in avoiding waste if contaminations are found at a particular source--you can get rid of just the affected crop.

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