CHICAGO –  (December 17, 2014)  An oven and a refrigerator that sit silently in the kitchen until someone decides to get dinner started? That’s so 2014, say designers working on the next evolution of cutting-edge kitchen appliances.

Instead, the appliances of 2050 will likely work interactively with consumers to plan and shop for meals, monitor special dietary needs, even produce customized food products at the touch of a 3-D printer button, according to the latest series of interviews from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) FutureFood 2050 publishing initiative. FutureFood 2050 explores how increasingly sophisticated science and technology will help feed the world’s projected 9 billion-plus people in 2050.

“Cooks will have much more personalized control over their appliances [by the year 2050],” says Lou Lenzi, industrial design director for GE Appliances. “They will be able to connect their ovens to smartphones or tablets, program the ovens to prepare food the way they like it, and share recipes with friends.”

FutureFood 2050 kitchen visionaries this month include:

  • Thomas Johansson: Design director for Sweden-based Electrolux, where hyperconnected “smart” kitchen appliances are already in the works
  • Lou Lenzi: Director of industrial design for GE Appliances who believes interactive kitchens can help support healthier lifestyles
  • Hod Lipson: Director of Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab, which is experimenting with 3-D food printers that will give home cooks revolutionary new options for convenience and customization

Plus, get a jump on the future with a special slide show: “10 New Tools for a Foodie’s Kitchen,” featuring an array of high-tech gadgets and appliances already in development or out in the marketplace.

FutureFood 2050 is a multi-year program highlighting the people and stories leading the efforts in finding solutions to a healthier, safer and better nourished planet to feed 9 billion-plus people by 2050. Through 2015, the program will release 75 interviews with the world’s most impactful leaders in food and science. The interviews with kitchen thought leaders are the ninth installment of FutureFood’s interview series, following sustainability, women in food science, food waste, food security and nutrition in Africa, aquaculture, futurists on food, and innovative agriculture Parts 1 and 2.

Next year, FutureFood 2050 will also debut a documentary film exploring how the science of food will contribute solutions to feeding the world.

For more information, please visit to subscribe to monthly updates, learn more about the project and read the latest news on food science. 

About IFT 
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Food Technologists. Since its founding in 1939, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit