Like the concept of the food pill that Flash Gordon comics introduced, US scientists have come up with a new concept for meal creation. Although it might initially might sound a bit crazy, this one seems to be viable at closer look. A concept has been introduced for a digital fabricator that will be able to print food from specific ingredients.
The concept has been introduced by two graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Fluid Interfaces Group Media Lab – Amit Zoran (designer/engineer in algorithmic image process development) and Marcelo Coelho (designer and research assistant).
How the concept is expected to work is that ingredients will be stored and refrigerated; these are then put into a mixing chamber and mixed, layers of the mixtures – in the desired combinations will be cooked or cooled; and then printed onto a serving tray.
According to the researchers, this move will usher in the digitalization of cooking technologies. Specific advantages are that this method would allow users to concoct food combinations that would otherwise be impossible to create in a kitchen. Also, users would be able to specifically manipulate and control calorific and nutritive values of each meal, by controlling the fat content or carbohydrate content etc. The researchers are attempting to ensure that the food printer, now called the Cornucopia, will be able to order new ingredients automatically and provide ingredient substitutes as well.
Looks like this could be the next step in printing after the advent of the 3D printer. These are already being used in applications to create 3D models and prototypes. The new Cornucopia could change the way the human race approaches food forever, creating a new era of gastronomical delight.