Soon, You Will Be Able to Print Your FoodS

Scientists at Cornell University's Computational Synthesis Lab are developing a commercially-available "3D food printer" that would allow users to "print" meals using "raw food 'inks'" inside syringes. Sounds delicious!

Cooking is so hard, what with "ingredients" and "recipes" and "having to leave your house to go shopping." So thank goodness for the fab@home project, an open-source collaboration on 3D printer technology that's developing a "food printer" intended for home use. The BBC is very excited:

Just pop the raw food "inks" in the top, load the recipe - or 'FabApp' - and the machine would do the rest.

"FabApps would allow you to tweak your foods taste, texture and other properties," says Dr Jeffrey Ian Lipton, who leads the project.

"Maybe you really love biscuits, but want them extra flaky. You would change the slider and the recipe and the instructions would adjust accordingly."

Currently, the food printer's "inks" are limited to "anything that can be extruded from a syringe" (luckily that includes the four major food groups: Liquid chocolate, liquid cookie dough, liquid cheese, and liquid cake batter). But the team is working on turning other ingredients into syringe-extrudable materials—and they've had some successes, like cookies, and chocolate, and, oh my God, "designer domes made of turkey meat."

And there's nothing weird about that at all! No, nothing completely and utterly horrifying about the fact that the endpoint of technological modernity is our food being squeezed out of a syringe in prearranged patterns. If anything, this will improve The Food Experience, according to chef Homaro Cantu of Chicago's Moto, who has, and you may want to get a vomit bag here, "printed sushi using an ink jet printer":

Long-term, the team believes that people will take to the technology by creating their own 3D printable food recipe social networks with everyone improving on each other's creations.

"3D printing will do for food what e-mail and instant messaging did for communication," says Mr Cantu.

3D printable food recipe social networks doing for food what email and IMing did for communication? Say no more! Bring it on, future! "Turkey and celery square anyone?" I'll have six.

[BBC via therewillcomeawhitexmas; image via fab@home]