3D printing has been in existence for about three decades but a couple of years ago, it went a notch higher when technology and food connived to bring healthy food options with a touch if creativity, known as 3D food printing. A company called Natural Machines introduced Foodini 3D Food Printer a couple of years ago. This machine, as its name suggests is produces food like magic. It can create savory cuisine with the use of fresh ingredients and prepared before printing. Ten other 3D food printers have made their presence felt during that year through prototypes, from pasta makers to chocolate creators.
3D printing looks promising because it does not only give an individual healthy food options that are appealing to the eyes but it is also considered to be environmental friendly. The question is, does it have a future in the food industry? According to reports, this innovation does. Soon enough, it will not only be used in high end restaurants. At the 3D Printshow 2015 in London, Chef Mateo Blanch created a 5-course meal which included caviar cookies, Framed octopus, hummus and pasta. Is there really a market for this? Here are three possible answers:
Team Kokino came up with a prototype of a 3D food printer that can be used in outer space. This project combines knowledge with software that will be able to help solve the problem of transporting food in space, expiration of food and storage. According to NASA, this innovation is helpful in long missions in space where astronauts can have fresh fruits even after moths since ingredients will be stored in sealed cartridges. Moreover, the prototype is capable of converting waste food into new food. In the future, bringing 3D printers in outer space will be the norm.
- Chefs and Food Establishments
Today, success in the food business is not only limited to taste, creativity and technology go hand in hand to automate how food is prepared and presented. 3D food printers make work easier for chefs when it comes to food customization that cannot be done by hand. Foodini, for one, can print food that is centimeters high so long as there are enough ingredients. Manufacturers are optimistic these products will dominate top professional kitchens in the future.
With people always on the go and having no time to prepare their own food, 3D food printers will soon be making it to the local households. According to experts, as consumers see this technology in restaurants they dine in, they will be familiar with the practice and soon use them at home. This is also because consumers are looking for new products that will meet their demands. With 3D food printers using fresh ingredients, it is not surprising for homemakers to try this innovation. Additionally, geriatric patients and older people who have difficulty in chewing and swallowing can also benefit from 3D food printers. Aside from making the food look appealing, ingredients can be chosen and portions can be prepared easily.
Image owned by NASA.
With the 125,000 grant given by NASA for a pizza-producing food printer and the on-going experiments with printed food and the promise of reducing preservatives and additives in what we eat, there is no doubt there is a market for 3D food printers.