Anyone who’s first job was flipping burgers might have a memory about the “danger zone.” The zone spans the 40-degree Fahrenheit to 140-degree Fahrenheit range. Bacteria doubles in this temperature range and food handlers are taught to never leave food out of refrigeration for more than two hours. Consistent temperature is key to food safety. New technologies are poised to solve this problem.
Maintaining Consistent Temperatures
The rise of refrigeration changed the way society enjoys food. People can now eat cucumbers in the winter without the need to pickle them after summer harvests. We can enjoy leftovers without having to place them in some kind of pottage soup. Despite these advances, problems still remain.
Whether it’s potluck dishes, tailgate parties, or a long commute, our preferably hot food and drink often gets cold. And with that coldness comes bacteria. Much like refrigeration changed consumption generations ago, new heating technologies can keep the food on our plates and the drinks in our mugs at consistent temperatures without the need for electric plug-ins.
As consumers become increasingly tech savvy, their expectations have risen. As consumers, we know that our preferences lean toward easy-to-use tech that features minimal design and optimal convenience. With that in mind, inventors are pursing temperature-controlling dishware and drinkware.
One of the first pieces available to consumers is a travel mug that features an LED temperature display that is accessed by one tap of a finger on the side of the mug. The display then disappears into the mug’s black surface. Once a consumer knows their preferred temperature, they can set the mug to keep that temperature throughout the day. Current mugs can control your beverage’s temperature for up to two hours and can be recharged by setting them on top of a coaster-like charging station. Inventors are trying the technology on baby bottles and dishware.
Food and restaurant entrepreneurs can discover here, in this technology, a solution to their catering woes or production lines. Once temperature-controlling prototypes are complete and the cost of the invention is lowered, it is possible that heat-controlling dishes and mugs will be available for business-to-business sales.
Whether used in the home, in a car, or at a restaurant, the technology isn’t meant to remain isolated on the mug or dish. With the internet of things, temp-controlled dishware can connect to apps that alert users when a temperature dips into a pre-set “danger zone.” From there, users can adjust the temperature remotely from a different room or location.
Apps can also alert users when their beverage is running low and direct them to the closest location of a coffee shop or cart. This could open the door for smaller businesses to connect with new costumers and offer promotions.
What started as a way to keep a cup of coffee warm has implications beyond personal comfort or digital marketing. Heat-controlled dishware and drinkware can protect us from food-borne illness.