Chinese tech giant Baidu has created smart chopsticks, which detect contamination in food and use a red light to indicate to diners that they should think twice about finishing their meal.
Food poisoning is never a nice experience, but those dining out at restaurants often have no way of knowing how their meal was prepared before they eat it. While devices such as Peres have offered a way for professional chefs and home cooks to see if their ingredients are safe to eat, a Chinese tech giant has now created smart chopsticks, which detect contamination in food and use a red light to indicate to diners that they should think twice about finishing their meal.
A major food industry scandal in China in recent years is the sale of 'gutter oil', which is made up of waste cooking oil from drains and sewers and resold to kitchens. Developed by Baidu — China's answer to Google — the smart chopsticks were launched at the company's annual conference last week with the specific aim of tackling the problems such as gutter oil. Called Baidu Kuaisou, the utensils feature sensors that detect the chemical makeup of oil, water and other foods. The chopsticks also include color LEDs that turn blue or red depending on whether they've sensed the presence of a dangerous ingredient. Diners can also connect the chopsticks to their smartphones to see more detailed information about why their food has been flagged. According to Baidu, the Kuaisou chopsticks monitor the quality of cooking oil, but will also be able to track PH levels and temperature and calories.
The product hasn't yet been given a price tag and is still being developed before being released to the public. Could technology like this offer other uses — for example, detecting gluten and allergens, or detecting the ingredient used in a particular dish?