The concept of 3D-printed food is hard to swallow, but technology that could revolutionise the way we cook is hotting up.
In 2009, Philips Design presented a sci-fi vision of the future with a conceptual food printer that could produce a perfectly balanced meal at the touch of a few buttons. Part of a research project called Food Probe, which looked at how we might source and eat food in 15 to 20 years’ time, the imagined machine would allow our future selves to print out our ideal combinations of flavours and nutrients in an unlimited range of forms. It sounded too Star Trek to be true (as Dezeen readers were quick to point out when we originally ran the story). But with 3D-printing technologies advancing as rapidly as they are, the idea may not be as far off as it once seemed. Philips itself is not developing a 3D food printer, but companies around the world are starting to take the concept seriously. Janne Kyttanen has been at the forefront of 3D-printing technology for many years and he believes food is next on the list to be revolutionised by 3D printing. “We have many different avenues in which 3D printing technology is moving. We’ve explored all different kinds of products and different materials,” he says. “Food is the next frontier.”
Kyttanen has already 3D-printed an experimental hamburger and a breakfast cereal in novelty shapes, including his own head, but these are merely conceptual models of plastic and plaster. “I wanted to pinch people a little bit. I printed burgers just to create an iconic image and make people realise that one day we will be able to 3D-print a hamburger.”…
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