3-D Printed Food Is a Thing...But Do You Want to Eat It?
NASA recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to Systems and Materials Research Consultancy in Austin to explore the feasibility of printing food in space. Apparently astronauts are weary of freeze-dried ice cream. In an article on NASA's website, the space agency writes "NASA recognizes in-space and additive manufacturing offers the potential for new mission opportunities, whether "printing" food, tools or entire spacecraft." They say they're looking for ways to increase the shelf life of space food, but it's not explained how printing would help that, as the "food products" that would need to be loaded into the printer don't last any longer than what's currently available.
Photo courtesy Natural Machines This is Foodini on the fancy setting.
In spite of the fact that it didn't make its Kickstarter goal, Foodini actually seems to be one of the most promising machines out there for 3D food printing. Who knows when it will actually be on the market or if, when it does, people will actually choose it over rolling out crackers and making pizzas the old-fashioned way.
I don't know about you, but I like getting my hands dirty. And something about food paste just doesn't make my stomach grumble in anticipation. Go figure.