Royal College of Art students design The Brinery home fermentation tool
The Brinery is a home fermentation vessel designed by a team of Royal College of Art students to kickstart interest in the "forgotten" process of preserving vegetables.
The tool is intended to encourage users to pickle their leftover food – everything from unused carrots to watermelon skin – rather than throw it away.
The butternut squash-shaped container is designed to make fermentation more straightforward. Chopped vegetables are placed in its inner vessel, salt and water added, and the lid replaced to start the process. The dome-shaped cap keeps the container airtight and the food submerged in the brine.
"The user-friendly design is a modern reinterpretation of a forgotten process," said the team, who have also designed an accompanying recipe book for the Brinery.
Using fermentation, unwanted vegetables can be rescued from the back of the fridge and preserved for months – eventually becoming a rich source of probiotic bacteria.
The Brinery is designed as an improvement on regular jars, which are usually the vessel of choice for people preserving vegetables, but can be susceptible to mould as a result of contamination. The Brinery's inner vessel lets the vegetables be removed from the brine without hands or utensils touching the food.
With traditional jars, the lid has to be loosened to release a build-up of CO2 as a result of the fermentation, but the Brinery's airlock cap allows the CO2 to escape.
The team is also designing a dining experience, aimed at introducing newcomers to fermentation and overcoming any apprehension they might feel.
This pop-up will give visitors a chance to taste fermented food, before projections mapped to the vessel explain how the bacteria breaks the food down. Finally, diners will have a chance to discover the health benefits.
"Between fresh and rotten exists a creative space in which the most compelling of flavours arise," said the team's Pratik Ghosh. "Salsas, condiments, sauces, pickles, dressings. The possibilities are endless."
Austrian designer Katharina Unger has also sought to change perceptions of food, with a tabletop insect farm that could be used to cultivate and harvest mealworms for use in the kitchen.