Watch: Cooking Oil for a Cleaner Planet, Order Pizza without Talking to a Human, and Ice Cream that Doesn’t MeltAugust 14, 2017
Welcome to the food edition of your Engineering360 News brief.
Cooking Oil for a Cleaner Planet
Scientists have figured out a way to use waste cooking oil and sulfur to extract mercury from the environment. It turns out that a dynamic new canola oil polymer can trap the most dangerous and common types of mercury pollution. In testing, the rubber-like material changed color to indicate it successfully absorbed the contaminant. The Flinders University team that discovered the material is now raising funds to develop a pilot reactor and production plant for the new polymers in South Australia.
Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt
According to a Japanese media station, a team of scientists accidentally discovered ice cream that doesn’t melt -- well, at least not for many hours after being left at room temperature. The Kanazawa University team discovered a compound called polyphenol that solidified the cream. The extract actually makes it difficult for water and oil to separate so they tried mixing it with ice cream and found it would prevent the ice cream from melting.
Ordering Pizza Hi-Tech Style (Hold the human please)
Little Caesar’s now lets you order and pick up a pizza without ever having to interact with a human.
For those who just want to get their pizza without dealing with anyone at all, the pizza chain just set up the Pizza Portal, a heated, self-service mobile order pick-up station. With this innovation, customers get hot pizzas in their hands just seconds after they walk into the store thanks to the automated, self-service hot-holding technology. Little Cesar’s has started test runs in select stores and will expand to other markets later this year. Customers can place an order and pre-pay with the Caesars mobile app, which notifies the user when the order is ready. After arriving at the store, hungry patrons skip the line and go directly to the Pizza Portal and input a 3-digit pin or scan a QR code. Then, the door on the customer's secured compartment opens, and they can take their order.