5 Kinds of food that fit in 3D printing

From my previous article, 3D Printing Meals in Space and Right at Your Table, we talk about the idea of 3D food printing. In this article we will discuss the kinds of food that can be printed and that actually exist today.

Chocolate

Chocolate 3D printer

3D food printing caught the eye of one of the biggest chocolate company in America, The Hershey Company. According to Nasdaq, William Papa of Hershey Company says: “We believe that innovation is key to delivering relevant, compelling consumer experiences with our iconic brands. Whether it’s creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future”. To develop and produce a 3D printed chocolate, Hershey Company takes their step to team up with 3D Systems and signup a multi-year of the joint development agreement. However, this is not the first sign of 3D printed chocolate in the world; there are such companies that have already been developing techniques for 3D printed chocolate.

Pizza

pizza 3D Printer

For the sake of astronauts’ health, System & Materials Research awarded NASA to study and develop a 3D pizza printer with $125, 000 worth of funds. They are planning to make a 3D food printer that can last for as long as 30 years since astronaut’s missions can last for several years. The process of this 3D printer is, first, it will print the first layer of the dough onto a heated plate, then it will lay down the tomato base that is stored in a powdered form that will be mixed with water and oil, and then, lastly,add in the “protein layer”, like pepperoni, salami and ground beef.
Watch this video on how 3D printer prints Pizza:

Pancake

Pancake 3D printer

The market for pancake nowadays is thinking of a new way to produce unique and highly complex pancake styles. Eating an Eiffel Tower pancake is potentially really interesting. The Californian Festival Maker Faire developed a new food printer which is called the PancakeBot. This 3D food printer enables users to create a highly complex shaped collection of pancakes such that, when stacked together, it is possible to recreate an Eiffel tower and other structures. This will surely inspire every user, especially kids, to have fun with their food.

Watch this video on how 3D printer prints Eiffel Tower Pancake:

Ice pops

ice pop 3D printer

The Netherlands, a new company in Amsterdam,is developing a 3D food printer that will print on-site ice creams; this is called MELT ice pops. The idea of this 3D food printer is that it can be used at festivals and events. Why this printer looks more interesting is because its users are able to print their own design such as printing user’s own head or a drawing using a 3D scanner. However, printing and creating an ice cream is very complicated, that’s why the company is using a CNC-machine that will drill a sculpture in the block of ice. To make MELT ice pops possible, there are 61 people who have donated a funded the project to make the 2745 euros worth of machine possible.

Chickpea nuggets

chickpea nuggets 3D printer

This vegetarian nugget that is made of chickpeas, garlic, spices, bread crumbs, olive oil and salt is created using 3D food printer. Lynette Kucsma, the co-founder of Natural Machines says that this 3D food printer can also produce hash browns, cookies, brownies, and crackers. The latest 3D printer of Natural Machines in Barcelona is a 3D printer that can produce any kind of food that is made of dough and paste or stiff liquid such as pies and pastries, bread, and pasta.

Images from: 3dprinting.com

3D Printed Meals in Space and Right at Your Table

3D printing: Food in the Space

Image source: techcrunch.com

Did you ever wonder what is in a space menu? Yep, space, as in outer space. Do astronauts also store frozen fruits and vegetables aboard the ship? Could they toss a dough to make pizza? Obviously, flipping or tossing items outside the Earth’s atmosphere, even inside a space shuttle will land at nowhere. Zero gravity, remember? You toss something and it will just float and mock at you.

Space dining started from squeezing “baby food” concoctions in a tube-like or toothpaste container. The first man who ate in space was John Glenn in 1962. His meal was an applesauce squeezed from a tube. Their initial assessment was the food was not fun and delicious to eat. NASA made amendments and necessary changes to improve the food system of astronauts. Being sent to space is already a huge fit; it would be a nice consolation if the food tastes better, right?

In the first space expeditions, astronauts lose weight because of unappetizing and bland tasting food. They manifested bone loss or decrease in bone density and blood circulation problems. This is why astronauts must be in their optimum health condition before takeoff and as they perform certain tasks.  They’re lucky enough if they managed to maintain their weight after the mission.

Since the tube meals, food systems had improved in a way it is similar to a normal setting. Food preparations involve rehydration, thermo-stabilized, irradiation, or eaten straight from a flexible pouch or easy-to-open can with the use of spoon or fork. Their meals are freeze-dried, packed in flexible pouches and cut open by a scissor.  Solids are lighter than liquids. Beverages are in powdered-form and diluted in water before drinking. The food is, aside from tasting better, packed with vitamins and nutrients. They could choose from a wide array of meals or requesting their own menu before takeoff.

Because NASA’s main priority is the welfare and health of their astronauts, they ventured into a technology that is now on the rise called 3D Printing or additive manufacturing. The first tries with this type of technology were not edible at all. Pioneers sampled on parts of vehicles, aircraft, robots, and the human body. This gave birth to a branch of 3D printing called 3D bio-printing where million lives could be saved.

Now, another stem is branching out, the 3D food printing. Many attempts were made but NASA is the first one who took a big leap. According to a report, “NASA has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to Systems and Materials Research Consultancy (SMRC) of Austin, Texas to study the feasibility of using additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, for making food in space.” The fund costs US$125,000 and SMRC’s Anjan Contractor heads the six-month grant.

This project will help feed crew members to withstand deep-space missions such as colonizing Mars or exploring distant galaxies that may last for about 15 years or so. Contractor’s team will create powdered-ingredient cartridges with a 30-year shelf life. This is an alternative if ever it is impossible to cultivate plants on the Red Planet.

Earth could benefit, too. Some experts assumed 3D food printing could lessen world hunger. Imagine the ease and convenience of printing burgers in a massive scale enriched with vitamins and minerals – and perhaps cholesterol-free as well. Thru this technology, meals can be customized based on the person’s dietary needs. When that time comes, 3D food printers will soon stand beside our kitchen counters.

Watch out this youtube video of printing a 3D Pizza:

Check out the 5 Kinds of food that fit in 3D printing here!