3-D printed food

Marijn Roovers’ epicurean delights have graced the tables of some of the Netherlands’ finest restaurants. But the food designer’s Chocolate Globe is his most intricate — and technologically advanced — creation. A chocolate shell just 0.8 millimetres thick is embossed in gold with the chocolate’s continent of origin, and it holds delicacies that symbolize the region.

Roovers and chef Wouter van Laarhoven printed it — layer-by-layer of chocolate — on a 3D printer. Roovers is at the forefront of a small group of gourmets and technophiles who want to revolutionize how food is prepared. On 21 April, they will gather in the Netherlands for the first conference dedicated to the 3D printing of food.

But do note this:

3D food printers tend to be slow: Roovers’ chocolate globes, for example, currently take about an hour to print. To prepare one per guest in a restaurant with 40 patrons would take almost 2 days of continuous printing. “It’s not very realistic,” he says. “At the moment it’s a way to show craftsmanship.”

Then there is the matter of texture. Most 3D printers work with either pastes or powders, so the resulting food tends to be mushy, says Julian Sing, founder of 3DChef, a firm near Tilburg, Netherlands, that specializes in 3D printing of sugar. “The food needs to have the right texture,” he says. “It needs to look like food and not like slop.”

There is more here, via Michelle Dawson.

Comments

3D printed food won't turn into anything swanky; look how people respond to food squeezed out of a hose (taco bell). 3D printed food technology will probably be associated with vending machines.

3D printed food is really hard to make, might not taste good, and doesn't address any existing problem with conventional food. This sounds like a winner to me.

Think of it this way, with just a bit of misphrasing -

'Apple's watch is really hard to make, might not look good, and doesn’t address any existing problem with conventional wearables/phones/watches.'

'On the other hand, for people (read: idiots) who like to show-off...it is perfect"

Why wouldn't it taste good? Sugar is sugar is sugar. Also chocolate. I don't think they plan on printing steaks, at least not for near future.

> Why wouldn’t it taste good?

Because tempering?

Printed food sounds good, but it's got to be organic.

Yes, and of course they managed to take perhaps the most inorganic substance available - gold - which is toxic to humans and ruin one of the best substances around - chocolate. Didn't they watch House MD? If they really did serve that to people they should be charged criminally. If anyone offers you gold in food, sue them:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3047880
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6489298

What? No. Those links are talking about gold ions, not metallic gold which is inert and harmless.

"To prepare one per guest in a restaurant with 40 patrons would take almost 2 days of continuous printing"

Why is this a problem? Buy some more printers, sheesh.

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