Funded by the European Union, EIT Food (part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology) connects industry/businesses, higher education/academia and research institutes to speed the adoption and commercialization of new ideas and technologies that benefit consumers. EIT supports more than 40 start-ups and entrepreneurs in 13 European countries through access to partner networks, finance, markets, and competencies and technologies, noted Clara Talens, a researcher at AZTI at session on Wednesday morning on “The Ice Bucket Challenge to Develop New Technologies.”
Following her talk, three entrepreneurial companies discussed their innovations and challenges to bringing their products to market. Victor Delgado with Natural Machines talked about the evolution of their Foodini 3-D food printers, which are being used in restaurants, hospitals and bakeries to produce a variety of unique-shaped foods. The company plans to market a home kitchen device in the future.
Pamela Vazquez with Flatev Ag reviewed the evolution of their flat bread home appliance for producing tortillas and, in the future, crepes and cookies. Product development hurdles have included machine hardware and software, dough formulation (both corn and wheat with flavorings), and single-serve pod capsules to package the dough and release it efficiently in the machine. The appliance, which costs about $300, can turn the single-serve dough into a crispy tortilla in about 60 seconds.
Pedro Nunez Porras with Eskesso SL discussed their sous vide cooking system based on the IoT and the cloud. The system allows consumers to remotely control the cooking of their foods (i.e., hot water bath) through a smart phone. The company markets a device that can heat water in a pot, so consumers can drop their vacuum-packed food in the pot prior to heading out to work or play and can come home to a freshly prepared and healthy and tasty meal. The cloud platform enables the sharing of recipes, ordering food for home delivery, and nutrition and diet advice.