The 3D food printing trend is on. We’ve seen everything from the Foodini that prints out nutritious food to the less healthy Chocabyte that lets you print chocolate (yum). There are also 3D printers that make pureed food for seniors and there are even those that 3D print meat. Now, a UK company called Dovetailed has developed a new kind of 3D food printer that prints fruit or a combination of fruits on demand within seconds.
Dovetailed is sparse with details on how their new printer works, but it more than likely uses a molecular gastronomy technique called “spherification.” This begins when fruit juice or puree gets mixed with a thickening agent (usually sodium alginate). Then, the substance is added to a bowl of calcium salt where it forms into spheres with tiny skins that hold all the juiciness inside (sort of like fruit in its native form). The 3D printer then combines these spheres and prints them out in whatever combination of flavors, textures and shapes you want. Or you can just print out a plain pear or apple or any other fruit you have a craving for.
According to Dovetailed, the printing process only takes seconds, so you could have your favorite pineapple and mango fruit mix on demand.
“Our 3D printer will open up new possibilities not only to professional chefs but also to our home kitchens — allowing us to enhance and expand our dining experiences," said. founder Valva Kalnikaite
The only question remaining now is, though, would you actually eat 3D printed fruit, or any kind of 3D printed food? The idea seems more novelty than anything, but only time will tell if society as a whole eventually embraces 3D food printing.