OK, would YOU eat printed food? I am not so sure.
Tech Times – By: Nicole Arce – “The newest kitchen appliance is one that is designed to allow people who are simply too busy to prepare their food to create delicious, healthy meals without the messy, lengthy preparations. That is, if the idea of printing food sounds appealing to you.
A Barcelona-based company called Natural Machines is debuting the Foodini; a 3D food printer that it says can churn out all sorts of meals, from pizzas to salads and gourmet chocolates. At the Web Summit in Dublin, Natural Machines has a display showing off its food printers, which the company says, is the only machine of its kind that can whip up food in no time.
The Foodini works pretty much like regular 3D printers. However, instead of plastics, it prints out food using the raw ingredients deployed from stainless steel capsules and placed layer by layer until the food is formed.
‘It’s the same technology,’ Natural Machines co-founder Lynette Kucsma tells CNN. ‘But with plastics there’s just one melting point, whereas with food it’s different temperatures, consistencies and textures. Also, gravity works a little bit against us, as food doesn’t hold the shape as well as plastic.’
Although the Foodini sounds like the perfect kitchen appliance to encourage laziness, the machine for now can only take care of the time-consuming preparation processes. The cooking is still left to the person using it. For instance, it can lay out the pizza dough and cover it with a generous dollop of tomato sauce and a pile of ingredients, but the person will still have to place the pizza in the oven for it to cook. Kucksma, however, says Natural Machines is working on a new model that will solve the solution of different cooking temperatures so that it can print and cook the food all in one go.
‘In essence, this is a mini food manufacturing plant shrunk down to the size of an oven,’ she says.
The $1,000 machine is targeted toward chefs, restaurant owners and kitchen professionals, with a consumer version to follow afterwards, she says. Kucsma envisions the Foodini as the ultimate kitchen helper in doing complex tasks such as making detailed cake decorations but also in simpler kitchen activities such as kneading pizza dough.
But some food professionals are already shaking their heads at the idea, saying food is made best when prepared the old-fashioned way.
‘Those two things shouldn’t be together. ‘Printed food’ for a magazine, yes. But to eat? Nah, nah,’ says Tony Tantillo, food editor for CBS. ‘They have to feel it. They knead the dough, they have to smell the tomatoes. It’s all part, it’s all passion with food. If something’s doing that for you, where’s the fun?’
Kucksma says purists can continue getting their hands in the food, but other people will see the usefulness of the Foodini, as evidenced by the aisles and aisles of pre-packaged foods lining up the grocery stores.”