Friday, February 04, 2011

What's in your future kitchen? Food fabrication technology

What's in your future kitchen? Food fabrication technology prints out your meals in seconds

In the not-so-distant future, instead of buying manufactured food items at the store, you may instead just "print" them right in your own kitchen. The technology is called "food fabrication," and it allows you to fabricate foods right in your own kitchen, layer by layer, in much the same way an inkjet printer prints a color bar chart on a piece of paper.

This is an emerging technology that I predict will have a huge impact on the future of food. Several food fabrication devices already exist, in fact. Perhaps the most notable example is from Cornell University's Computational Synthesis Lab (CCSL) (http://ccsl.mae.cornell.edu/3d_printing), where a project led by Dr Jeffrey Ian Lipton hopes to ultimately create a consumer-level food fabrication device that would one day be an integral part of every modern kitchen. With such a device, instead of running to the store to buy blueberry muffins, for example, you would simply download the 3D blueprint, then "print" the muffins on the food fab machine (and then bake them in your oven).

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