Better tasting Plants, Sound dampening Screws and the World's Fastest Electric Motorcycle

July 15

This week we discover how scientists are making plants taste exactly like meat. We look at the world’s fastest Electric Motorcycle and a new HyperPort in Germany. Finally we discover a new sound dampening screw. This screw can be retrofitted to walls and ceilings and reduce the apparent noise level by half. Perfect for our ever more crowded cities.

Better Tasting Plants

There has been a lot of development in the past few years in the alternative meat space. Beyond Meat, V2 Foods (they make the plant based Hungry Jacks Whopper) and others have made great strides in replicating the taste and mouth feel of meat in plant based products.

Nourish Ingredients, a Canberra based startup has joined the race to develop better tasting plant products. Instead of focusing on alternative proteins, they are focusing on the fats. The claim that they can tailor flavor and mouthfeel to precisely reproduce the taste and texture of pork, beef, chicken, fish, milk, cheese and more. Their specialty fats and oils make plant based alternatives taste like the real thing.

Nourish have developed yeast strains and a fermentation process that allows them to mimic the molecular structure of animal fats. They literally brew fats that have the same makeup as animal fats.

Each type of plant-based protein requires completely different flavor profiles and mouthfeel properties. Their process allows them to create endless types of fats from sugar based feedstocks. The triglycerides are able to be flexibly tuned to the the exact taste and feel that is needed.

The process uses the existing infrastructure found in the production of healthier foods and nutraceuticals. It is easily scalable. The end products have price parity with other specialty food fats. History teaches us that as the world gets richer, people will demand more protein. There is just not enough land on the planet for 7 Billion people to eat a heavily meat based diet. It is unlikely that the world will eat less meat overall, however the rise of plant based protein alternatives will allow more people to consume a protein rich diet with the taste and feel of meat products.

The World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle

UK based White Motorcycle Concepts has reveled their new all electric motorbike that it claims will shortly break the EV land speed record by hitting 250 miles per hour (402kph). The current record is 228mph.

There is a huge gaping hole in the center of the bike which acts as air duct, pushing air through the gap rather than around the bike. The inventor, Robert White, took inspiration from the world of Formula 1. The design reduces drag by up to 70% which allows the bike to pierce through air at speed.

Power comes from a unique layout which sees the battery pack sit at the underbelly of the bike, giving it a better center of gravity and better weight distribution. There are 2 * 20kw batteries powering the front wheels and 2 * 30kw batteries powering the back wheels. Regenerative breaking (another F1 innovation) recharges the batteries. The bike has a total power of 100kWh or 134 Brake horse Power. The whole bike weighs 300 kg.

I wonder if it is possible to use the innovation of the hole in the center of the bike in other transport technologies that travel at speed? High Speed Rail may benefit enormously.

Sound dampening Screw

A researcher at Malmo University in Sweden, Hakan Wernersson, has developed a screw that can halve the perceived level of sound. He used the principle of resilient contact to remove sound waves. This is not a new concept however the application is new and effective.

In principle the screw breaks sound waves. The screw is split in the middle with a spring placed inside. The screw tip goes into the wooden joist whilst the head of the screw holds the plasterboard in place. Between a thin resilient mechanical coupling prevents the sound waves from advancing.

Tests in a sound lab show a sound reduction of nine decibels for a traditional dry wall. This equates to a halving of the perceived sound level within a house. The screws can be retrofitted to existing plasterboard walls and ceilings. The product is not yet in market however the researchers are currently looking for manufacturing partners.

Hyperloop Port

HyperLoopTT announced this month that they are developing a HyperPort in partnership with Hamburg Hafen and Logistik AG in Hamburg, Germany. A Hyperloop was first proposed by Robert Goddard in 1904 (he proposed a vacutrain concept) but reenergized by Elon Musk in 2012. It is a rapid transit system where specially designed vehicles travel at speeds up to 1100kph through vacuum sealed tubes. A HyperPort is a freight terminal for a high speed cargo distribution system using a hyper loop to transport the cargo from the port to a distribution center.

The proposed HperPort will allow port operators to transport up to 2,800 containers per day at speeds of up to 600kph. If you have driven on the highways south of the Hamburg Port you will have an idea of just how many trucks this will take off the road.

Paying it Forward

If you have a start-up or know of a start-up that has a product ready for market please let me know. I would be happy to have a look and feature the startup in this newsletter. Also if any startups need introductions please get in touch and I will help where I can.

If you have any questions or comments please email me via my website or comment below.

I would also appreciate it if you could forward this newsletter to anyone that you think might be interested.

Till next week.