Thanks to a Danish physicist, the world might soon be snacking on jellyfish chips

jellyfish chips sustainable food vandmand 5 2 credit anders boe
Alongside their love of hoodies and the word “disruption,” one way to recognize techies away from their computers is through their penchant for unusual foodstuffs. Whether it’s otherworldy recipes designed by AI, 3D-printed candy, or specially engineered red algae made to look like juicy shrimp, folks in tech like their culinary experience to be as cutting edge as their smartphones. Well, move over bleedable veggie burgers, because there may soon be a new snack in town: jellyfish chips.

Developed as part of physicist Mie Thorborg Pedersen’s master’s thesis at the University of Southern Denmark, the technique offers an alternative to the salting process that’s been used in Asian cultures for centuries. It involves extracting water from the jellyfish using a combination of kitchen salt and alum. Not only is the new technique considerably faster at producing an edible snack than the traditional 30-to-40-day drying-out process, but it also results in considerably tastier food — complete with crispy texture.

jellyfish chips sustainable food credit kristoff styrbu00e6k

“It is fascinating how you can turn a very slimy gel into a crispy chip,” Pedersen told Digital Trends. “We developed a method for preparing jellyfish for eating with inspiration from how gels behave in different solvents. When we immerse jellyfish in 96 percent ethanol we observe how the gel of the jellyfish collapse, in line with theories concerning gels. After 2 to 3 days we can then let the alcohol evaporate and get this paper-like jellyfish chip.”

The reason why the creation is so promising to Pederson and others is because it offers a potential new food source whose population has — contrary to other sources of overfished seafood — exploded in recent years. Jellyfish numbers are so great that, in some parts of the world, jellyfish-killing robots have been deployed to deal with the problem. (And it really is a problem: Nuclear power plants have been shut down as a result of swarms of jellyfish clogging up the pipes!)

“What makes this exciting is that people in the Western world are starting to look for alternative food sources such as insects, and the jellyfish is a supplement to this,” Pederson said.

A paper on the work was recently published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science.

Emerging Tech

Meet the gene-edited bacteria that could make cannabis plants obsolete

Ever wanted to brew cannabis like you brew craft beer? At UC Berkeley, biologists have managed to engineer brewer’s yeast so that it produces the main cannabinoids found in marijuana.
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.
Gaming

Make some room in your backlog. Here are all the games to look out for in 2019

2019 is already a huge year for video games, with a large number of series getting new installments, including some that have been dormant for years. Brand new franchises are also being created.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

SpaceX experiences problem during test, Crew Dragon capsule may have exploded

SpaceX has experienced a problem during the testing of its Crew Dragon capsule. During the engine test firing at Cape Canaveral yesterday afternoon, an unspecified anomaly occurred which lead to plumes of smoke rising from the test site.
Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Emerging Tech

Beresheet crash caused by manual command, but reflector device may have survived

Details are emerging about what may have gone wrong with spacecraft Beresheet's failed moon landing. A manual command was entered which led to a chain reaction. But NASA still hopes to salvage use of its Laser Retroreflector Array device.
Emerging Tech

The oldest type of molecule in the universe has been located at last

A milestone in the development of the early universe was the combination of helium and hydrogen atoms into a molecule called helium hydride. But strangely enough, this ancient molecule has never been detected in space before now.
Emerging Tech

Mercury’s wobble as it spins reveals that it has an inner solid core

Scientists have long wondered what the inside of Mercury looks like, and they now have strong evidence that the planet has a large and solid metallic core. The data for the new findings was collected by the now-defunct MESSENGER mission.
Emerging Tech

Gravitational forces at heart of Milky Way shaped this star cluster like a comet

Hubble has captured the stunning Messier 62 cluster. The cluster is warped, with a long tail which stretches out to form a shape like a comet. It is thought this distortion is due to Messier 62's proximity to the center of the galaxy.
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.