Across the pond, in Germany, companies are doing some incredible things with 3D printing. They're using it to make food. Actual food, like the kind that tastes good.
One of the more successful projects is Biozoon's Smoothfood, which was developed to print food for senior citizens in retirement and assisted living communities. Those communities have a major need for food that their residents do not need to chew. But rather than feeding them baby food for adults, Smoothfood creates melt-in-your-mouth food (literally) from fresh ingredients using a 3D printer. The food looks like food, tastes like food, but has the consistency of puree that prevents residents from choking.
The main questions on our mind: how does it work and how does it taste? Munchies spoke with Sandra Forstner, a project manager at Biozoon, about the 3D food. According to Forstner, it's actually quite delicious. They use cauliflower, peas, chicken, pork, potatoes and pasta to make their foods. It's bound together with a top secret, safe for consumption product (not agar.)
The food puree is injected into the printer as "ink", and out comes the final product. The printer is controlled by software that determines the shape and you can set the shape to match the food: carrot puree is printed in the shape of diced carrots, but with the texture of roasted carrots.
As for the taste, Forstner says it "tastes like normal food. It is made from fresh ingredients, so the taste doesn't change. One of our goals is not to change the flavor; the texturizing system doesn’t change it." Pretty nifty.
While these printers are worth a pretty penny, the cost of 3D printing is decreasing, with the latest (non food) printer out at less than $200. Hopefully, food printer pricing will be just as low soon.