Set phasers to yum.
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It seems like pretty much every week a new innovation in 3D printing is announced, only to disappear without a trace. Hidden amongst these flash in a pan innovations is this (presumably Star Trek–inspired) food printer from Barcelona-based startup Natural Machines.
Called the Foodini, the device features six capsules of different liquid food types, which it combines to create a number of prepared foods. The prototype is still in the early stages of development, but once completed could theoretically create a huge variety of dishes, including pasta, bread, pastries and chocolates.
The creators are quick to point out that the Foodini does not cook food—it merely prepares the raw materials so you can cook them more easily. In other words, it can get your dough ready, but it can't bake the bread.
Although in edibles created by this device would be the very definition of "processed food," Natural Machines is hoping that the Foodini will be a hit with foodies. The company envisions a future where owners could purchase their ingredient capsules from speciality food stores. Additionally, the Foodini is WiFi-enabled, so users could download recipes from other users and professional chefs. The finished device should also prove a boon to calorie-counters and those with specific dietary requirements.
The device could have further commercial applications beyond the home. Natural Machines hopes to market the printer to the food service industry as a automated alternative to line chefs. Yep, your next restaurant meal could be partially prepared by robots. Welcome to the future.
[Hero Image: James Aitchison]