3D PRINTED FOOD: IN YOUR KITCHEN?
3D printing has been one of the prime inventions of the decade, taking the world by surprise at first and now quickly having become a common phenomenon. While 3D printing material used to be quite a unique find in the past, it is now rather easy to acquire 3D printers and utilize it to fulfil your 3D printing fantasies.
Apart from the obvious aesthetic and geeky appeal of 3D printing, one cannot deny the plethora of benefits that it has brought to our already advancing lives. Technology has always strived to make our lives easier and freeing us from monotony; 3D printing is no exception. It has provided a more reliable and quicker alternative to the manufacturing of several products, allowing flexibility of time and customization options.
While it is a norm to see a 3D printer tucked in a corner on an office desk or on a table at school- what about one situated on the kitchen counter? As functional as any other utensil lining your cupboards or located in your drawers. In fact, quite a bit more useful and magical than anything you’ve ever possibly sued in your kitchen. 3D food printing is indeed a thing now and it is quickly gaining traction among professionals and domestic masses alike owing to the incredibly fascinating and convenient benefits it brings to any kitchen environment.
HOW DO 3D FOOD PRINTERS WORK?
3D food printers employ the technique of additive printing where they utilize a bunch of specialized parts in order to produce layers of finely ground food and assemble it into the desired form or shape. An example of such a 3D food printer is the “Foodini” machine, which allows one to “print” their food out down to the last impeccable detail. Pioneered by Lynette Kucsma, it employs the use of stainless steel tubes which must contain the desired food item in a pureed form.
With plastic in normal 3D printing the melting point is the same and gravity supports the printed shapes. This is not the same with food items which are understandably different from each other and thus it is necessary for the food item to have the right consistency and state in order to be properly “printed”. This is the reason why companies are looking into producing pre packaged tubes containing pureed ingredients in the right consistency for immediate use. The tubes work as syringes and push out the ingredient regularly to stack layers upon layers in the desired form or shape. With the Foodini you can make foods like pizza, pasta or dessert with ease simply by placing fresh ingredients in the steel tubes which deposit layers of the puree to create your complicated chocolate sculpture or the base for your pizza. The food printed through a 3D food printer is, however, uncooked most of the times and must be manually placed in the oven or on the stove for further cooking.
A number of ingredients can be used in the 3D food printer, one of the most commonly used ones being chocolate. 3D food printers have been used to create huge or complicated chocolate sculptures making which would be rather difficult using moulds and impossible by hand.
WHERE AND WHY ARE THESE BEING USED?
3D edible food printers have already been picked up by many restaurants and commercial places for the mass production of different basic and complex food items. The reason behind this is that it reduces the number of hands and the amount of time that is required for a person to spend making a food item. Thus it can ultimately make the food making process much faster and more efficient in a restaurant.
While you may not be able to find such 3D printed food restaurants in smaller towns, they are gradually blooming in larger cities with greater populations. The high rush and demand for quick and consistent service drives restaurateurs to turn towards this very modern and foreign concept that is still finding its feet in the food industry. These are already pretty commonly found in gourmet restaurants and bakeries where they employ this technology to create attractive geometrical designs and sculptures using food ingredients.
A 3D food printer also makes up for the lack of skilled employees in a high tier restaurant. In order to hire a person as a cook n a restaurant, he or she must be taught all the necessary skills for preparing the items on the menu. With the 3D food printer, this problem becomes null and void. You may simply feed into the printer what you would like it to do once and it will do it over and over again for you with striking regularity, ensuring consistency and uniform quality in your food service.
3D PRINTED RESTAURANTS
But the printing, as we know, isn’t just limited to the food in the restaurant industry. As shown by the world’s first ever 3D printed restaurant, Food Ink, restaurants can be entirely crafted out of the products of a 3D printer- whether it be the furniture inhabiting the court or the food inhabiting the furniture. Such 3D printed restaurants will undoubtedly rise in popularity and in number as time passes and we continue to become more and more dependent upon such technology.
A STEP TOWARDS IMPROVED NUTRITION
While 3D food printing may seem like fun and games to many right now, it is set to bring about a significant improvement in out nutritional values and intake in the near future. It already has made an impact in the aforementioned field. 3D food printers are finding their use in old age facilities and retirement homes where they are used to create suitably textured food items for the elderly and the sick, all loaded with just the correct amount of nutrients required for their healthy survival.
Using this revolutionary technique we may even be able to measure out the correct doses of necessary vitamins. Such as nutrients and supplements in our meals and rid ourselves from having to consume unhealthy and preservative-loaded foods altogether, moving towards a healthier, brighter future.
3d printed burger
3d printed edible food
3d food printer pizza