equipment
A Smart Spoon, 3-D Printed Meat, Cultured Breastmilk, and 5 Other Highlights from (Virtual) CES 2021
Home kitchen and food innovations that stood out in the giant consumer electronics showcase.
01-15-2021
Lisa McManus

This year, the enormous consumer-technology conference called CES didn’t bring hundreds of thousands of people to Las Vegas as usual. Instead, billing itself as the world’s largest virtual conference, CES has been online-only all week. It was a challenge to try to see it all, but here are some interesting highlights in the realm of food and home cooking.

1. SpoonTEK, a smart spoon. Described as a “tongue sensory utensil,” it adds a mild electric current to food, designed to “excite” your tastebuds to enhance flavor and improve aftertaste. It’s a slightly frightening concept, to be sure, but it might have applications for people with diminished taste perception, such as some elderly or chronically ill people.

2. GoSun Solar-powered cookers, water purifiers, and electronic chargers. Whether you’re simply a curious cook who wants to experiment, or a camper going off the grid, or if you want to prepare for emergencies where power and safe water may be off limits for a time, GoSun’s sleek-looking solar cookers may be worth checking out. They come in sizes to feed small or larger numbers of people, and some can work without strong sunlight and charge electronics, too. Ditto for solar-powered water purifiers.

3. BioMilq cultured breastmilk. Using a mother’s own cells, this startup can culture and collect milk in the lab and ship it back to the mom for feeding the baby.

4. BonBowl. This is a bowl-shaped induction cooker and eating vessel for one. For students and others living alone, this innovative device might be a great choice, since you can cook small meals right in the bowl; its insulated surface also allows you to eat right from that bowl, saving dishes. It’s on the market now, for about $149.00.

5. ColdSnap. This is a Keurig-like device that uses its own sodacan-sized pods to rapid-freeze single servings of dairy and non-dairy ice cream, frozen yogurt, smoothies and frozen protein shakes, frozen cocktails and frozen coffee in about 90 seconds on demand.

6. KOHLER Konnect. These voice-activated and touchless kitchen faucets now offer a "wash hand" command that walks you through the steps for proper handwashing, automatically starting the water and providing audible guides for lathering. Other companies also introduced smart faucets with Moen using voice control and Toto an ECOPOWER platform, which harnesses the energy of running water to power the faucets, saving water and energy. The voice-activated models by these companies use smart speakers by Google and Amazon to dispense precise amounts of water at your required temperature.

7. Panasonic Home Chef 4 in 1 Multioven. This multioven was launched and highlighted at the show. It’s an air fryer, convection oven, broiler, and microwave combined, and is being positioned as “your second oven, or your only oven.”

8. Nova Plant-Based Meat. This company uses a 3-D printer to extrude almost convincing-looking meat, including “pork” and “beef.”