Posted June 2, 2013 by Em Ramser in Products & Tech
 
 

Could 3-D Printed Food Be The Way of The Future?


NASA looks to bring 3-D printed pizza to astronauts

When most of us want pizza, we call up Dominoes, Pizza Hut or some place similar, but if you’re in a spaceship a few hundred miles away from the nearest road, (straight up), it can be a little difficult to get a delivery. In fact, up there in space, it is pretty hard to get any fresh food at all.

NASA, though, is looking to change that. They have given a six-month, $125,000 grant to Systems & Materials Research Corporation to come up with a prototype 3-D printer that can create an edible 3-D printed pizza.

The crust will print and bake simultaneously. While the crust is being cooked, the powdered toppings and sauce will be mixed with oil and water, and voila! The space-age pizza is born. 

NASA-3-D-Prints-Food-Pizza

The head of the project, Anjan Contractor, has dreams that go beyond sending pizza into space, however. He would like to use this new form of 3-D printer to combat food shortages and world hunger.

Ideally, Contractor sees a 3-D food printer in every kitchen around the world and food-making cartridges (with a shelf-life of 30 years) on the shelves of every grocery store. Not only will Contractor’s plan help to fix the world’s hunger problems, it may also help to personalize nutrition.

Similar things to Contractor’s food printer have come out already, like this one at Cornell University.

The difference between Cornell’s and Contractor’s, however, is that Contractor’s will literally be making every part of the food. Cornell’s assembles the food into different shapes and such designed on its computer(which is still pretty amazing). The printed foods then have to be baked or fried separately, but what makes Contractor’s so cool is that it will take care of the whole process from the “assembly” to  baking.

It will literally be printing ready-to-eat food.

NASA-3-D-Prints-Food-Hamburger

While the foods creations in the video below may look a little different from the food we’re used to seeing today, it is a step towards the future, and who knows? In the next few years these things might just be on our dinner tables. (People used to think microwaves were strange, after all.)

I can’t imagine how these printed food might taste, though. I’m not sold on waking up in the morning and turning on a 3-D printer to make my breakfast quite yet, but maybe one day. What do you think? Would you eat 3-D printed food? Let us know in the comments below.


Em Ramser

 
The world is filled with many strange things, and Emily enjoys finding out about them by writing. Her daily habits including writing, browsing webcomics, more writing, a cup of coffee, editing and Magic the Gathering tournaments (she runs a blue/black mill deck). Writing is her life (except for her Dr. Who breaks). She is currently pursuing a degree in English and Creative Writing at Salem College.