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Food Tech News: KFC Canada Partners with Alexa, Blockchain and a New Peanut Allergy Drug



Pat yourself on the back — you made it to February. We’re in the thick of winter and here at The Spoon we’re busier than ever reporting on news and prepping for our Customize food personalization summit (you’re coming, right?)

But there’s always time for food tech news! Here are a few interesting stories from around the web this week: an Alexa skill that lets you talk to Colonel Sanders, food safety blockchain, e-grocery funding and a new peanut allergy drug. Enjoy!

KFC Canada unveils new Alexa skill
This week KFC Canada announced a new Alexa skill which allows users to chat with and reorder fried chicken from… the Colonel himself. The fast food chain teamed up with AWS to develop the skill, which uses AI to turn text into speech that sounds like the voice of Colonel Sanders. According to a release from KFC Canada, KFC is the first global QSR to use this text-to-speech technology.

Neogen partners with riope.io for food safety blockchain
Neogen Corporation, an international food safety company, is partnering with blockchain-for-food startup Ripe Technology (creators of ripe.io). Neogen will use ripe.io to create a blockchain to track food safety diagnostics and animal genomics for their customers. The company hopes that incorporating blockchain will help customers verify the authenticity of their food products and lead to increased transparency and traceability.

FDA approves drug for peanut allergies
Those who suffer from life-threatening peanut allergies may soon be able to breathe a little easier. US health regulators have approved the first ever drug for peanut allergies. Called Palforzia, the oral drug works by slowly ramping up exposure of peanut protein to desensitize allergy sufferers. It’s specifically meant for children and teenagers.

E-grocery Supermercato24 raises €11 million (~$12.1 USD)
Supermercato24, a Milan-based e-grocery marketplace, announced that it had raised €11 million (~$12.1 million USD), bringing its total funding to €28.4 million ($31.2 million USD) (via EU Startups). The round was led by DIP with participation from current investors 360 Capital Partners, Innogest and more. On Supermercato’s online platform, users can shop for groceries from local supermarkets, which will then be delivered to their door. With its new funds, Supermercato24 will expand its operations throughout Italy and Poland, where it’s already available, and grow into new countries.