The technology that U.S. armed forces used to find Osama bin Laden has another use: extending the shelf life of cakes. Lightbody, a U.K. Finsbury Food Group cake company, partnered with Strathclyde University to predict and improve cakes’ shelf life with hyperspectral imaging, The Grocer reported.
By capturing the whole light spectrum, hyperspectral imaging technology is used to determine the material and chemical composition of any object. To find Bin Laden, helicopters equipped with hyperspectral imagers surrounded his compound in Pakistan. The captured images helped the U.S. forces locate the country’s most-wanted terrorist.
Now, Strathclyde University and Lightbody are using this imaging system to look at cakes. Scottish Funding Council’s Interface Food & Drink gave them a £25,000 grant for this project. Researchers seek to predict shelf life, and then use their findings to prolong shelf life and improve taste.
“With hyperspectral imaging, you can tell the chemical content of a cake just by taking a photo of it. That allows the baker to optimize the process for shelf life and taste. It tells you what's going on, how the sugars are breaking down, how the fats are breaking down,” university professor Stephen Marshall told The Guardian.
With hyperspectral imaging, we can have not just more safety, but better cake.