Written By Bianca Botero-Murphy Via Chicago Tribune
Researchers and engineers envision 3D food printing as a way to make food healthier and sustainable for consumers.
What we once envisioned as the untouchable future is now our reality. Cars are parking themselves, hoverboards serve as alternatives to walking, drones are delivering personal packages, and now, machines are printing food.
3D printing is the futuristic manufacturing process that takes a digital model and makes it into a solid 3D object by creating and building upon layers of various compounds such as plastic, resin and even metals. 3D food printing works in the same way but instead of using aforementioned items, it uses consumable (and digestible) compounds to create products you can eat. Engineers first experimented with edible substances like sugars, chocolate, and various types of dough to be loaded into the specialized printer.
Despite initial usage of these popular yet unhealthy types of ingredients, researchers and engineers envision 3D food printing as a way to add sustainable and nutritional value for a range of consumers. With more and more R&D work in these areas, it seems like the barriers to reach their goals are vanishing.