Cornell lab prints food, says digital cuisine could change restaurants
Engineers envision printed breakfasts synced with alarm clocks and gourmet spreads downloaded from high-end restaurants but served at the dinner table. Printers could to linked to digital food logs and programmed to churn out meals that fill in the day’s nutritional blanks.
Sound like "The Jetsons"? Printer-produced gastronomy is closer than you think.
Cornell Creative Machines Lab, featured recently in Fast Company, has a printer that can create a scallop nugget shaped like a miniature space shuttle. The machine has made cakes that, when sliced into, reveal embedded messages.
Known as “solid freeform fabrication,” Cornell engineers say it’s the next step in culinary innovation -– a space that has recently seen gelatin spheres with liquid centers, hot fluid in flash-frozen shells and meats dished out through syringes.
The ability to print food could have significant ramifications for chefs and industrial food producers alike, according to scientists. And the average American, who spends more than 30 minutes a day preparing meals, could save more than 150 hours each year using a commercial version of the machine.
Watch the printer making icing and cookie dough below:
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photo: A space shuttle scallop nugget, fresh from a food printer. Credit: Cornell Creative Machines Lab
Video: The Fab@Home project, launched by Cornell scientists, aims to promote 3-D printing in the home