AI in the Kitchen - The Cooking Revolution

June 17, 2023
David Sunnyside

The way we cook is undergoing an AI-based upheaval. AI-enabled ovens, smart refrigerators and even cooking utensils are helping us save time and effort.

But the impact of AI goes beyond the kitchen, extending into the dining room as well. This is the first of a series of stories exploring how AI is transforming restaurants and our food.

1. Robotics

A few companies have already brought robots into the kitchen. Nala Robotics, for example, launched a robotic kitchen that can cook millions of recipes without any human intervention. The company says its robot can master any dish in a matter of minutes. Users can even upload their own recipes, which are coded to replicate them exactly.

Another company, Moley Robotics, has created a kitchen robot with fully articulated hands that mimic the movements of human hands. It can retrieve ingredients from the smart fridge, adjust the hob temperature and stir, pour and plate like a professional chef.

It’s a good idea to add this innovation to your AI-enabled kitchen because it can reduce food waste, saving you money. According to Whisk, the average American throws away 238 pounds of food per year – that’s almost $1,800 in lost revenue!

2. AI

AI is reshaping how people cook by reducing food waste. It also assists with the preparation of ingredients and meals. One innovation, Whisk, dispenses recipes to pre-programmed appliances and reminds users to prepare meals when needed. This helps save money, time and effort and reduces food waste.

Another use of AI in the kitchen is in reducing food safety risks. Businesses that process food have to meet strict safety standards and track hundreds of workers that come in contact with food. It is difficult to ensure that all workers are following rules with human eyes, but AI can monitor shipments and quickly spot violations.

Companies such as Plant Jammer and Chefling combine AI with gastronomical learning to help consumers use the ingredients they already have on hand. The technology will recommend a range of recipes that utilize available foods and take into account the user’s preferences, cooking methods and dietary restrictions.

3. Smart Appliances

Smart appliances use a variety of technologies that enable them to monitor and optimise their utility. For example, by detecting motion in the kitchen and turning off devices when not in use, they can reduce energy consumption by 15-20 percent.

Then there are those that can pre-program cooking schedules and remind you when meals need attention. Some smart fridges even alert you when food is close to expiration, helping you avoid waste.

However, since the kitchen is a space for creativity and human expression, it’s unlikely that these appliances will completely take over from humans any time soon. Still, they will help reduce some of the tedious chores that accompany preparing meals and free up more leisure time. And who wouldn’t want that?

4. Innovative Cooking Methods

As technology advances, companies are focusing on ways to utilize AI to innovate cooking methods. These methods include cooking with different temperatures, changing sauce consistencies, and using various cooking techniques to achieve certain textures.

For example, Facebook's CloudChef system uses image recognition to reverse engineer recipes — so anyone can replicate any dish by simply uploading an image of it. This approach escalates the ongoing debate around ownership of recipes to a whole new level.

Startups like Plant Jammer and Chefling help people make creative and personalized recipes with ingredients they already have in their fridges. And Indian hardware startup delishUp has an 8-inch touchscreen with guided recipes and a smart cooking jar that chops, cooks, stirs and automates stirring, making it possible for anyone to start cooking at home and reduce their dependency on delivered cloud kitchen food.

5. Cleaning

Besides reducing the need for humans to perform certain tasks, AI technology is also helping make them easier to do. For instance, smart vacuum cleaners don’t require manual effort to operate and provide the same results as their traditional counterparts.

The kitchen is no different, with innovations like smart refrigerators that help manage grocery lists and alert you of items nearing expiry. Similarly, chimneys with motion sensor technology are automatically cleaned to save time and effort.

Another way to reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning is by clearing out clutter regularly. This will make it easier to clean the kitchen and can even be made into a family activity. The best part is that it will help make your home more visually appealing and less stressful.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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