Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Food Mechanic – Part 2

PostedDecember 1, 2013

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Anchor Lead: There are nutritious plants that grow wild in areas of the world where people are hungry and malnourished. The problem is they don’t taste good.

Randy Atkins: The taste of food – and maybe its nutrition – can be altered by the mechanics of preparation says Philip LeDuc, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University.

Phillip LeDuc: Mechanics has made huge improvements in numerous different areas – from energy, to water, to medicine – and this is just another potential area which actually has some direct impact on people’s lives.

Randy Atkins: Consider the amaranth plant that grows like a weed in parts of Africa and South America.

Phillip LeDuc: It’s about six feet high for some of the types and it’s highly nutritious, but it’s not eaten because of the taste.

Randy Atkins: So LeDuc’s team is creating a new chopping and grinding process that he hopes will turn the tough, hard-to-eat plant into a soft food that releases both nutrition and a good flavor. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.