Tag Food

Posts: 2

Machine Learning Making Pesto Tastier


Now this is something I can get behind, using machine learning to make Pesto tastier! The article is really about growing Basil with higher concentrations of volatile compounds that affect the taste, which in turn is the key ingredient in Pesto.

The researchers behind the AI-optimized basil used machine learning to determine the growing conditions that would maximize the concentration of the volatile compounds responsible for basil’s flavor. The study appears in the journal PLOS One today.

Machine Learning Shines

Machine learning shines in cases like this because this is simply an optimization problem. Find the right levels of attributes (i.e. temperature, moisture, heat, etc) to give you best taste and keep it stable in a lab.

The basil was grown in hydroponic units within modified shipping containers in Middleton, Massachusetts. Temperature, light, humidity, and other environmental factors inside the containers could be controlled automatically. The researchers tested the taste of the plants by looking for certain compounds using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. And they fed the resulting data into machine-learning algorithms developed at MIT and a company called Cognizant.

What was the finding for growing the best Basil (key ingredient in Pesto)? It was 24 hour sunlight.

The research showed, counterintuitively, that exposing plants to light 24 hours a day generated the best taste. via Technology Review

I think it's time to move my Basil plants to a more sunnier location. :)


How Many Days of Food can You Buy with $100

I found this Reddit post fascinating and cool.


$100 will buy you this much food

It would appear that in New York City, $100 would only buy you 6 days worth of food. Living in Kansas City, Missouri or Des Moines, Iowa your $100 would stretch further to 11 days of food. Out of the USA, $100 can stretch further. My wife's friends is from Bogota, Colombia and she would see that $100 stretch to 24 days of food!