Is 3D Printing Food The Next Kitchen Innovation?

Someday in the near future it’s dinner time. You open an app on your phone and swipe through meals. Thai, American, Chinese. You land on a burger that looks delicious and click “Make Now”. Almost instantly a whirl or sounds comes from a box in your kitchen… “Ding!” It’s finished. You head to the kitchen and open the box. Inside is your meal.

Soon this will be a reality. 3D printing technology is slowly making its way into the food industry. However, the key word here is “slowly”. 

3D printing food today is pretty tough. Many printers work by depositing layers of material on top of each other until the final product is created. 3D printers for food work another way. Since food is not one single material (like plastic) it has to be created through a printer by mixing many different elements. This can make the whole process much more difficult and severely limits what can be made on a 3D printer.

So those food “synthesizers” seen on Star Trek or any other futuristic movie/TV show are still a long ways away.

Beyond making our daily lives a bit more simple, 3D printing food is a way to help a lot of other people. Imagine giving a 3D food printer to an elderly person who cannot cook for themselves again. It could dramatically improve their quality of life. What if we were able to send them to 3rd world countries during times of famine? The benefits to printing food are endless.

The future of food printing is a long, winding road. Although we’ve been able to master printing simple foods such as chocolate and dough, we have yet to make more complex foods.

What do you think? Will we be eating food coming from a 3D printer in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

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