What’s With The World of 3D-Printed Food?
You must have heard about the different stuff that can be 3D-printed today – cosmetics, electronics, jewelry, hearts, cars, planes, houses, etc. However, you don’t hear a lot about food. But can food items be 3D-printed? Sure enough. Does it have a purpose and how’s it done? Let’s look into the world of 3D-printed food so we’ll know that it’s not just the most palatable output of this amazing technology.
What is 3D-printed food?
It’s a way of preparing a meal in an automated additive manner. Take a pizza, for example. The dough base is extruded line-by-line by a food 3D printer and the tomato sauce is also applied using the same 3D printer. By hand, cheese, oregano and other toppings are added. It tastes as good as any well-prepared pizza the old-fashioned way. Imagine every home kitchen with a food 3D-printer! See what else have been 3D-printed – hamburgers, croquettes, breadsticks, crackers, dumplings, mooncake, spaghetti, bread rolls, gnocchi, chicken nuggets, hash browns, macaroons, chocolates, cereals, cake, and many more.
What are the advantages?
3D printed food could enable us to reinvent our culinary techniques on many levels, from texture to shape and artistic look. You can choose to print healthy, sustainable food. It is good for the environment because it can help to convert alternative ingredients such as proteins from algae, beet leaves, or insects into tasty products. It also opens the door to food customization, tailored to individual needs and preferences. 3D-printed meals are also making airline and space travel more comfortable.
What are the disadvantages?
There are several food printers on the market that have a couple of drawbacks. Some are able to create attractive works of edible art, but they’re made from sugar. Some printers can create food from paste, but that paste must be either precooked, edible when raw, or the resulting food must be cooked after printing, which doesn’t really offer any benefits over buying the food from the grocery store and then cooking it yourself. Also, only the specialized food 3D printers will give satisfactory results and they are quite pricey.
What types of food can be 3D-printed?
As long as the ingredients can be puréed, it can be printed. The key consideration is that the food being printed needs to be forced through a syringe-like mechanism to be extruded onto a plate. Is it safe to eat 3D-printed food? If the printer is appropriately food-safe and clean, it is safe to eat the food product. Like any kitchen, hygienic standards should be met when 3D-printing food.
Experimentation Can Be Fun
Do you have a bright food idea? Ideas are meant to be experimented. Let’s experiment and see. Contact us at 3D Composites!