The History of APPETITE - The Story So Far
The Appetite Automatic Pap Maker is the brainchild of a South African mechanical engineer graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand. Not too long ago, it was discovered that there wasn’t a commercially available automatic maker in the market. With his engineering background, he decided to take on the venture of developing a commercially viable automatic pap maker, with the emphases on quality, user friendliness, safety and design.
It all started one Saturday afternoon in 2016, when he was asked to make pap and struggled with the process. He was staggered when he discovered how much effort goes into preparing this delicious staple food that's readily available on so many South African food stores and weekend braais. He was determined to make the first commercially available Automatic Pap Maker for South Africans.
While he was enthusiastic about his idea, it faced a number of obstacles. For one thing, he didn't have experience making pap or much funding. He also lacked product development experience and was racing against time from established appliance brands that had a large user base.
But he refused to give up. He spent countless hours researching and learning everything he could about the different varieties of pap in different cultures, and teaching himself how to cook each kind. From these learnings, he developed the smart cooking system deployed in every Appetite Automatic Pap Maker to enable the Appetite Automatic Pap Maker to cook different types of pap with varying degrees of stiffness to suit local tastes across South Africa. By adjusting different cooking perimeters, this Smart Cooking System also enables the Appetite Automatic Pap Maker to apply the correct heat to perfectly cook the pap but without burning every time.
Much of the processes were performed manually with a handheld drill over a pot while the porridge was cooking on a stove. Later, it was replaced with an AC electric motor, a heating element and a cooking vessel.
During the early development stage, it was found that cooking pap presents a certain amount danger of sustaining burns for a novice cook. The process of adding additional maize meal into the cooking vessel exposes the user to hot mixture of porridge bubbling out of the cooking vessel as small steam pockets are formed at the bottom of the cooking vessel. A decision was taken then to enclose the cooking chamber to form a self-contained unit where the user would not be exposed to the risk of being burned from the hot bubbling mixture. A small window was added on the lid to allow the user to add the additional maize meal once the cooking process has begun.
From the user experience point of view, it does not allow the user to completely detach from the cooking process. Furthermore, it still presents a challenge to the novice cook since the amount of additional maize meal to add during the cooking process is generally based on experience. Thereafter the decision was made to develop a complete autonomous device where measuring containers for maize meal and water were included. Later, the markers were added to cooking vessel to replace the separate water measuring container.
In 2018, the second generation of the automatic pap maker was developed. The second generation of the automatic pap maker was the first commercially available automatic pap making device in the south African market. Although an extremely small numbers were available. It was only as the Automatic Pap Maker at the time.
Further development was included in the second generation of the Appetite automatic pap maker. Anti-rotational restraining elements were added to the cooking vessel as well as restraining elements were added to the lid. The capacity was increased to accommodate a family of 6. A user interface was also added to the second generation.
There were major safety upgrades to the second generation. The AC electric motor was replaced with a low voltage DC electric motor to complete eliminate the risk of getting shocked. A physical connector was included to disconnect the motor from its power source once the lid is opened. Temperature protection was included as well as overflow protection.
In 2021, the 3 generation of the Automatic Pap Maker was developed. The device is now branded as The Appetite Automatic Pap Maker. The upgrade included a completely redesigned lid and handle to redefine the looks not only for the Automatic Pap Maker, but perhaps for all stove top cooking appliances. A brand new simple and intuitive user interface to further enhance user friendliness.
There are also significant changes under the skin. A brand-new low voltage DC motor was included in the third generation to reduce noise level and to increase durability. Brand new food grade stainless steel constructions were introduced to enhance stability. Improved connector and restraining design to allow lid to open and close with perfect feel and precision.
The Appetite Automatic Pap Maker was launched into the market on 26th of April 2022.