ULTIMATE HANGOVER CURE
A Korean convenience store chain has recently launched the world’s first hangover-fighting ice cream, called Gyeondyo-bar (literally ‘hang in there’). South Koreans are Asia’s biggest per capita alcohol consumers, and hangover cures generate around 142 million in annual sales, including skincare cosmetics, pills and beverages. The new ice cream bar is a grapefruit-flavoured dessert containing 0.7 percent oriental raisin tree fruit juice, which has been known as a hangover remedy since the 17th century.
SOLUTIONS TO FOOD POISONING
European scientists are studying ways to prevent food poisoning by using new technologies in food processing.
To ensure the long shelf life required by distant export markets, Irish researchers are working on a project called HIPSTER, trying to develop a food processing technology that combines high-pressure processing with temperature. Another project, i3Food, focuses on three different technologies, namely pulsed electric field preservation of liquid food products, high-pressure thermal sterilisation for ready-to-eat meals; and low shear extrusion of cold food products.
In the US, the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine has declared that genetically manipulated food remains safe for humans and the environment. The Academy, established by President Lincoln, has concluded that fears of ‘Frankenfood’ are mostly unfounded. The science advisory board has also claimed there is no evidence of environmental issues caused by GMO crops, and when farmers switched to engineered varieties there was no change in yields. To produce the 408-page report over 1,000 studies have been examined, and the academy has also created a website that allows consumers to look at the evidence and draw their own conclusions.
Bubble wrap, one of the most used packing materials, was invented in 1957 by Marc Chavannes and Alfred Fielding for a completely different purpose. The two engineers sealed two shower curtains together and unsuccessfully tried to sell it as a three-dimensional plastic wallpaper. It wasn’t until 1961 that its current use was discovered.
Back to Korea, now. Hoping to better engage its customers, food company Chung Jung Won has released its renewed brand and packaging offering, featuring innovative solutions. The range of designs invites consumers to think imaginatively about food, with glass jars becoming portable speakers and marinade bottles turning into hand blenders.
(NOT) LOST IN TRANSLATION
In Japan, the lack of available translation can be a huge inconvenience for foreign tourists, especially those having serious allergies or other dietary restrictions. A Japanese company, Dai Nippon Printing, has launched a smartphone app that allows visitors to quickly scan the QR code from the side of food packaging, translating ingredients and cooking instructions.