Food printing technology has grown rapidly in the last year and now one company is claiming to have invented the most versatile 3D food printer yet, the Foodini.
CNN got a first-hand look at the wild new technology when Spanish company, Natural Machines, showed off the Foodini – billed as the only 3D food printer capable of making a wide variety of dishes – at the Web Summit in Dublin. "In essence, this is a mini food manufacturing plant shrunk down to the size of an oven," said company co-founder Lynette Kucsma. Users put ingredients into the machine and it spits out all sort of edible end results from sweet to savory.
Natural Machines designed the Foodini to allow cooks to tackle difficult culinary techniques people might otherwise not have the time or skill to execute, such as detailed cake decorations or filled pasta. You will still have to do the actual cooking though; the printer just prepares the raw ingredients. However, future versions might include a cooking option.
The company was also quick to dispel another preconception: that 3D-printed food wouldn’t be fresh. Possibly in a bit of projecting, the makers of ‘Foodini’ want their product to promote healthy eating and are working to make sure ingredients are “fresh” and free of preservatives, despite being prepackaged.
Beyond that, the ‘Foodini’ seems to have all the other bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from modern inventions: touch screen controls, Internet connectivity, a social aspect allowing people to share recipes and, of course, the ability to operate it from your smartphone.
Though initially this incredible appliance of the future will only be available for professional kitchen, Natural Machines hopes a consumer version will follow at an estimated price of around $1,000. Kucsma compared the product to the microwave: "In the 70s, people were a bit fearful about it, they thought food could be poisoned with radiation or something, but fast forward 30 years, and there's one in every household.”
The plan is to begin mass manufacturing as soon as the second half of next year. Then the Terminators come sometime soon after that.
Foodini printing pizza dough.
Final, uncooked pizza.