In a few years, people will start their morning routine by switching on the coffee machine, the kettle and… their 3D printer!
3D printing is no longer a distant innovation for a far away future but is quickly becoming a viable technology that has been applied in computer, medical and industrial fields. It is also gradually entering our everyday lives with increasingly affordable prices that appeal to the general public. Indeed, some businesses are already experimenting with 3D printing coffee, milk, bread and cookies to customize their breakfast offerings for guests.
For instance, Spanish company Natural Machines created Foodini, a machine that “prints” foods of various kinds. Notably, Foodini is completely operable via smartphone, and users can choose from a shared database to decide on the shape and style of their cookies. The real advantage, however, is that the Foodini works with fresh ingredients that users select, creating freshly made cookies with no additives or preservatives. The ingredients are placed inside special steel capsules, and the machine assembles the cookies layer after layer, completing the order to the exact specifications of the customer.
Other companies are creating 3D food by writing personalized script or printing custom images. The same technology is already in use to label food with barcodes or QR codes, that connect to a digital food label. There are also a host of food printing technology that is designed to create whimsical designs for decoration such as the Food Flatbed Printer, which uses edible ink to print photographs and drawings on biscuits, crackers, pies and candy. Other printers, like the machine developed by Domino Amjet, use lasers to create edible ink which is then printed onto food.
Finally, 3D printing has been popping up in one of the hottest trends in food, “Latte Art“. Modeling and designing the foam on cappucinos and other coffee drinks has become and internet phenomenon with thousands of videos and tutorials on YouTube and superstar baristas that display their ingenious creations. Latte art has turned cappuccino foam into a blank slate, and cafes have taken advantage of the opportunity to customize their drinks for customers. Ripple will take your coffee order and decorate it with predefined images or even a selfie that you can take instantly. There are also new products to bring latte art home such as the Selffee, which launched after a successful Indiegogo campaign, and prints color photos and drawings onto drinks or baked goods. Breakfast will never be the same again!
The Future Food Institute is partnering with Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition 4.0 for the curation of the agritech and food tech pavillon. It is an Italian-based non-profit organization with global horizons that aims to build a more equitable world through enlightening a world-class breed of innovators, boosting entrepreneurial potential and improving agri-food expertise and tradition.