Inventors create a 3D printer that can print food

By Kirstin Buick
11 December 2013

Imagine coming home and printing your food after a long day at work. Researchers say this can be possible with a 3D food printer called a “Foodini”. Barcelona-based company Natural Machines is the brain behind the Foodini machine, which combines “technology, food, art and design”.

Imagine coming home and printing your food after a long day at work. Researchers say this can be possible with a 3D food printer called a “Foodini”. Barcelona-based company Natural Machines is the brain behind the Foodini machine, which combines “technology, food, art and design”.

'The Foodini machine will be able to make many dishes including pizza or pasta. You can also print your food in different shapes and print messages on cakes'

The machine is estimated to cost £835 and is expected to go on sale in mid-2014.

How does it work? You’ll have to load the machine with capsules filled with fresh ingredients. The various ingredients are piled up in layers and will come out layer by layer.

For example, the 3D printer will print out a pizza dough, and then the tomato paste. The disadvantages of the food printer, according to a spokesman of the company, is that Foodini does not automate all your cooking, nor does it cook food.

“If necessary it can keep food warm as it works as it contains a heating element. But it [machine] does require more time from you in the kitchen versus opening a bag or a box of something that is processed, frozen or already prepared.

“Foodini can design food into different shapes, make a quiche in the shape of a dinosaur, create pictures with sauces that kids can fill in with veggies or write messages on pieces of toast for breakfast.”

The printer’s layering process works well with food that has a smooth and fluid texture. “Its function is more like food assembly so it’s important not to confuse what it does with actual cooking,” says Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of Natural Machines.

“It’s probably most ideal for deserts or dishes with a meat or cheese paste, like ravioli. But even then it can be useful with many different kinds of food.”

Sources: blogs.smithsonianmag.com; telegraph.co.uk; dailymail.co.uk

- Katlego Mkhwanazi

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