Expanding Variety of 3D Printed Foods
Nearly everyone has seen photos of sweets and chocolates 3D printed at recent Consumer Electronics Shows; the results are amazing! But soon, 3D printed food will come in all types and styles that could help solve the growing global food crisis.
Add the possibility of bioprinting beef, chicken, and pork, and the prospect for better-nourished people everywhere seems within reach – 3D printed airplane food that is palatable and nutritious and nursing home food that will help patients get better rather than the opposite.
NASA On Board the 3D Printing Food Train
Perhaps the first attempts at 3D printing of food was NASA food intended for astronauts on space missions. The only criteria was that the food be nutritious and lightweight, and astronauts, self-effacing as they are, could deal with the unappetizing texture and taste.
NASA’s Office of Habitability and Environmental Factors at NASA’s Johnson Space Center has been developing cutting-edge technology to provide nutrition to astronauts for years. Today, NASA is developing a 3D printer that will be used on deep space missions providing astronauts with a taste of home.
Delicious Food For Astronauts and Nursing Home Patients
According to a new book, Future Food by Aaron Council and Michael Petch, new 3D printing technology is likely to help make it easier to source food products more easily, change the way we process and consume food, and positively affect the food supply as more food is created with less waste.
For example, in Germany, some nursing homes are now serving nutritious and tasty 3D printed food to patients instead of food that seems to make them sicker and might actually kill them. IBM’s Chef Watson is already churning out creative recipes, many of which are garnering excellent reviews. And a number of companies including Foodini, by Natural Machines, are creating 3D food made with fresh ingredients.
In the following video, a couple of taste testers try a 3D printed pizza.