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Unilever chooses the Royal Society to help explore the food of the future


Venue to host The Living Kitchen project that will attempt to explore our culinary habits of tomorrow

On 7 and 8 November Unilever - one of the world's leading FMCG companies - is working with the Conference team at the Royal Society - the UK’s national academy of science - to create a two day event called The Living Kitchen.
The event will offer remarkable forecasts for innovations in food with insight likely to trump even the wildest imaginings of Willie Wonka, or Heston Blumenthal - as scientists from Unilever create thought-provoking, imaginative and inspirational views on the future of the way we will all eat and drink.

Over two days Unilever participants will take part in a series of lectures, presentations and creative events to examine as science fact what many of us might yet regard as science fiction. This includes: uncovering the culinary future for hydroponics and aeroponics (where vegetation is grown using mineral rich solutions and aerosols); creating domestic energy harvesting techniques to recycle heat ‘wasted’ during cooking; and exploring the potential of under utilised protein sources.

Unilever’s research and development team has chosen the AVATAR group (Advanced Virtual And Technological Architectural Research) to lead these examinations and will focus on four dominant trends that will shape how and what we eat and drink in the future and include: new foodstuffs; sensation in food; and entertainment in dining.

Dr Teresa Belmar, Open Innovation scientist for Unilever said: “This is a window into the world of the future as natural resources become increasingly precious and food will be used more strategically than today. Our homes may even become places where we process and grow our own food. We will investigate what the future might hold using techniques that span both art and science.”

Nicholas da Costa, Head of Conference Services at the Royal Society, said: “The Royal Society has a rich history in food innovation, so we are delighted that we have been able to design this exciting event with Unilever. I cannot reveal all, but attendees will be immersed in a dining experience that will give them a taste of the future living kitchen.”

Rachel Armstrong of AVATAR said “The Living Kitchen is an interactive multi-disciplinary workshop where participants will shape a set of projects that embody product ideas that will start to bring the concept into reality. It is stimulating, visionary, and exciting.”

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