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The Boston Globe

Jeff Heglie ’85 co-founded For Bitter For Worse, a zero-proof spirits company focused on bringing non-alcoholic cocktails to market, reports Ann Trieger Kurland for The Boston Globe. “They have won medals for their drinks, which are crafted like spirits,” writes Kurland. “Herbs and botanicals are first macerated in alcohol to extract their flavors, then they use a still to remove the alcohol in a process Heglie, an MIT graduate, calls ‘reverse bootlegging.’ Natural ingredients — organic roots and juices, fruit peels, spices, and more — are blended into the robust base to add layers of flavor.”

Wired

Researchers at MIT have developed an ingestible pill that can raise levels of hormones to help increase appetite and decrease nausea, reports Maggie Chen for Wired. The researchers “hope that it can one day act as an effective noninvasive therapy for those who experience gastroparesis—or other eating disorders—essentially being a temporary switch that can be activated to drive hunger and digestion,” writes Chen.

Forbes

Lisa Dyson PhD ‘04 founded Air Protein, a company looking to “bring recycled carbon cultivated into food with the taste and texture of chicken, meat, and seafood,” reports Geri Stengel for Forbes.    

The Boston Globe

MIT alumni Steve Fredette, Aman Narang and Jonathan Grimm co-founded Toast, an all-in-one online restaurant management software company, reports Aaron Pressman for The Boston Globe. “The Toast founders spent hours talking to restaurateurs and built features such as real-time communication with the kitchen about special orders and dishes that have sold out, and a way of tracking loyalty rewards,” explains Pressman. 

New Scientist

Prof. Benedetto Marelli and his colleagues have created “packaging that can react to changes in the food it contains to better indicate when it has gone bad,” reports Karmela Padavic-Callaghan for New Scientist. The biodegradable plastic-like wrap, which is made from silk, changes color when it is exposed to rotting foods and degrades quickly in soil. 

Inverse

Prof. Gio Traverso and colleagues at NYU have developed an electronic pill that could stimulate appetite. The device delivers small pulses of electricity that “induce the release of ghrelin, the body’s so-called “hunger hormone,” which is involved in regulating appetite and alleviating severe nausea and vomiting,” reports Joanna Thompson for Inverse.

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and NYU have “developed a first-of-its-kind treatment to help spur hunger via stimulating hormone levels in the gut—an “electroceutical” ingestible capsule inspired by a “water wicking” reptile,” writes Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “The team explored a novel way to “significantly and repeatedly” induce the production of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger.”

The Boston Globe

Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech company founded by Jason Kelly BS ’03, PhD ’08, Reshma Shetty PhD ‘08, Barry Canton PhD ’08, Austin Che PhD ’08 and Professor Tom Knight, is working to develop synthetic fragrances, reports Scott Kirsner for The Boston Globe.

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Grace Wade writes that MIT researchers have developed a non-invasive capsule the size of a raisin that electrically stimulates stomach cells, and could one day be used to “treat nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite in people with eating disorders, or those receiving treatments for cancer.”

NPR

Graduate student Crystal Owens speaks with NPR correspondent Miles Parks about her study which sought to find out the perfect ratio for breaking apart an Oreo cookie. “What we actually found was that all of the results were basically the same,” says Owens. “You can’t do it wrong because there’s no way to do it right.”

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Aylin Woodward writes about how graduate student Crystal Owens and undergraduate Max Fan set out to solve a cookie conundrum: whether there was a way to twist apart an Oreo and have the filling stick to both wafers. Woodward writes that for Owens, the research “was a fun, easy way to make her regular physics and engineering work more accessible to the general public.”

Fortune

Prof. Kripa Varanasi and Vishnu Jayaprakash PhD ’21, MS ’19 have launched AgZen, a company that is trying to reduce pesticide use through the development of additives that allow more pesticide droplets to stick to plants, reports Ian Mount for Fortune. “Globally, farms are spending about $60 billion a year on these pesticides, and our goal is to try to get them to cut that down while still not compromising on pest control,” says Jayaprakash.

Forbes

Kevin Kusch ’17 co-founded Notemeal, an nutrition app used by athletes at the professional and college level, reports Tim Casey for Forbes. “Notemeal’s first clients used the app to build meal plans for players and track their nutrition information. After Covid-19 hit, the NFL did not allow players to gather for meals, so Notemeal developed a feature where players could order directly through the app, see nutrition information such as carbohydrates, proteins and calories and pick up the food prepared at team kitchens to take home,” writes Casey.

WCVB

WCVB reporter Karen Holmes Ward spotlights Joshua Reed-Diawuoh MBA ’20, founder of Gria Food Co., a U.S.-based food company that provides locally sourced snacks from Africa to customers around the world. Ward highlights Diawuoh’s work with Commonwealth Kitchen, a commercial kitchen that aims to uplift local businesses.

CNN

CNN reporter Isabelle Gerretsen spotlights Lisa Dyson PhD ’04 and her startup Air Protein, which is developing a new technique to make protein “using just microbes, water, renewable energy and elements found in the air.” Air Protein has created “a new type of agriculture and a new way of growing food that doesn’t require arable land,” Dyson says.