Back in 2016 The Medical Futurist Institute described the future of food as using innovation and technology in food production. As odd as it sounds, 3D-printed food is here and the technology is already being used in geriatric nutrition.
Food technology has grown alongside the explosion of technological growth in most every other industry. We live in a world today of pecking, poking, tapping, swiping, and clicking to do just about everything from business to household chores, and to shop and put food on the table. The Natural Machines company has developed appliance technology to a new height with their Foodini, their 3D food printer they say is “A new generation kitchen appliance that combines technology, food, art and design.”
Looking much like a microwave or toaster oven one can easily see Foodini looking at home on a kitchen counter. The manufacturer states that food is prepared from fresh ingredients and uses stainless steel capsule technology that will “… make preparing food healthier, easier, and so much fun. Foodini is the first 3D printer to print all types of real, fresh, nutritious foods, from savory to sweet. It uses fresh, real ingredients, making the Foodini the first 3D food printer kitchen appliance to contribute to a healthy eating lifestyle.”
The unit has an internet connected touchscreen and a recipe can be downloaded from it, a laptop, or a tablet. Foodini directs which ingredients are added to the capsules (the fresh ingredients are prepared first and pureed) and then guides the 3D printing process.
The texture of the food they say is not all the consistency of baby food and in fact Foodini has found an excellent application: at hospitals and senior care homes.
Natural Machines is based in Spain. One of their clients is DomusVi, a chain of 135 retirement and care homes that is using Foodini in their kitchens beginning with one of their newest homes in Barcelona.
The University Of Utah Hospital has a Foodini preparing meals for special needs patients, notably for those with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. After preparation the printed food can be fast frozen for later use and cooking which may add to its economy. The hospital’s Director of Nutrition Care Services, Laura Robson reports, “That is the really exciting part. It can freeze so quickly that it doesn’t break down the structure of the product. You would not know it wasn’t prepared fresh,” she added. “You don’t lose any quality.”
Presentation in food is important to almost everybody and 3D-printed food has its own beauty as the pictures here and at the Natural Machines web site show.
For more information: https://www.naturalmachines.com/
All Images are Copyright 2018 National Machines and used with permission.