Newswise — CHICAGO—When the next generation of home cooks go to their kitchens, they’ll be entering a world of interconnected smart appliances, 3-D printers, and touchscreen controls that will simplify food preparation, create customized meal solutions, and produce far less waste. In the December issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), associate editor Melanie Zanoza Bartelme writes about some cool features that the kitchen of the future will offer.
1. Appliances will be wired to actively monitor their contents and reorder when it senses supplies are running low. Products that are near their expiration dates would be moved closer to the front.
2. Each family member can print the dinner they want when they want using a countertop 3-D printer that takes account likes and dislikes, food allergies and nutritional needs.
3. Induction cooktops using magnetic energy and compatible pans will heat up only the pan placed on it; the rest of the surface can be safely used for other tasks.
4. At the touch of a button, counters, sinks and cooking surfaces can move up or down appealing to the height of people sharing a kitchen as well those with disabilities. Stoves can be moved up so children don’t hurt themselves, while the sink can be lowered so they can easily wash their hands.
5. Integration facial recognition technology will make it so that the kitchen can automatically set itself to a combination of desired settings—from counter height to ambient lighting to background music—as soon as the user is home.
6. Virtual chefs will be projected directly into consumers’ kitchens to guide their cooking.
7. Integrated systems will read data from fitness-monitoring devices and suggest meals appropriate to certain situations, such as muscle recovery after a strenuous workout.
8. Sinks would come equipped with a finger sensor that could read users’ hydration levels, dispensing water when it’s needed.
9. Video monitoring will help consumers see exactly what they have and systems that are linked to ovens and stoves will create recipes that use the meal preparation ingredients that are expiring.
10. A fridge will use ultraviolet light to sterilize food within it, keeping it safe from spoilage. A blast chiller instantly takes leftovers out of the danger zone where bacteria thrive.
About IFTFounded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.