CAPE TOWN -  Technology and food are things that we depend on in our daily lives. Without either of these, life is tough but combined these two industries can change many aspects of the way we live.

Here are a few ways in which technology is changing the food industry:

1.  The App Love Food, Hate Waste 

Love Food Hate Waste is a website, was started by a non-profit WRAP in the UK. The website was then transformed into an app which is designed to help you reduce food waste at home and save money in the process. 

How it works: 

1. It gives you suggestions on how to transform left over meals 

2. Users can download recipes, and plan and shop more healthfully and frugally. 

Samsung also recently partnered with the campaign to raise awareness about reducing food waste.

2. Bagzielicous

(Image: Master’s student Maryjane Mokgethi presented an app to reduce food waste to the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit.)

A UCT masters student, named Maryjane Mokgethi,  has just returned from the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, which took place in the iconic Midtown Manhattan in September.

Her team have won an international innovation competition after creating a solution to minimise food waste through a mobile app. 

This app, known as Bagzielicous, allows consumers to track the expiry date of perishable items they have purchased to avoid waste.

Earlier this year, she entered the UN Global Compact’s Breakthrough Innovation Challenge, which aims to bring together “young entrepreneurs from leading companies to design future sustainable business models powered by disruptive technologies”.
Her team is comprised of two other master’s graduates, Bridget Fundikwa and Wadzanani Nyabeze from UCT’s Department of Chemical Engineering. 

 “The app is in its final stages of development, and I am excited to witness its success when it is launched in 2018”, says Mokgethi. 
3. Bitponics 

Bitponics is a personal gardening assistant to help monitor, analyze, and service a hydroponic garden.

It has sensors that monitor the garden's health and environment.

 The Bitponics Cloud runs a personal Grow Plan, which runs crowd-sourced blueprints for garden care, as well as sensor readings and shared tips from the community.

5. Precision agriculture

Precision agriculture is the use of GPS tracking systems and satellite imagery is used to monitor crop yields, soil levels, and weather patterns.

The purpose of it will be to increase efficiency on the farm.

4. Drones 

Drones are used by farmers to locate precisely where a diseased or damaged plants are.

They are also used to release fertiliser and pesticides, take photos and have immediate information about a certain area of any farm. Drones are also a major help in precision agriculture. 

One such drone is named the DJI MG-1S-Agricultural Wonder Drone. 

5. Vending Machines 

 (Image: Eggs are pictured in an automatic vending machine at a poultry farm in Lunteren)

The first modern coin-operating vending machine was in England during the early 1880's and it dispensed post cards. Since they have been invented, the use of a vending machine focuses more on food items. 

For example: 

Live Crabs: This vending machine in Nanjing, China sells live "fresh" crabs. The machine maintains an internal temperature of 41F to keep the crabs in a hibernation state without killing them. If you receive a dead crab from the vending machine, the company says it will compensate you with three live ones.

Pizza Machine: Let's Pizza serves 10.5" "fresh" pies 24 hours a day for $6 each. The machine kneads the dough, sauces the pizza, adds toppings (you have a choice of three), and heats pizza in an oven in less than three minutes.

Bread machine: Found in germany, This German vending machine heats up partially baked bread in seconds. 

A baguette vending machine in Paris . The bread is partially cooked before being put in the vending machine, and then it finishes baking per order and costs approximately $1.30.

6. Shape Shifting noodles 

Engineers in MIT’s Tangible Media Group have created noodles that change shape when dunked in water. 

The researchers who created the product think their product could have real-world value, from decreasing shipping costs to thrilling diners.

Wen Wang, one of the researchers who developed the noodle  teamed up with a colleague, Lining Yao, to develop flat sheets of starch and gelatin, giving them a special structure that allows them to take shape only when dunked in water.

 They were assisted by graduate students, Teng Zhang and Chin-Yi.