We have delighted the culinary world for centuries with various ingredients, additives, ways to present dishes, beautiful cutlery and technological innovations. 3D printers have recently joined the modern gadgets. It turns out that this is equipment that can also be useful on the kitchen counter.
Beginnings and first successes
– The technology of 3D food printing is very old and, as usual, investigated for military needs – says Łukasz Długosz, editor-in-chief of the 3D portal in action. – Started around 2006, done by NASA. They have studied the possibility of producing food in space for astronauts – he adds.
We can print food from a variety of materials. – It can be unprocessed food, for example scientists from Shanghai printed from milk, but it can also be chocolate, cream cheese and animal cells – says the expert. – We can also use protein blocks consisting of water and proteins of vegetable origin – he adds.
Recently, 3D meat printing has developed. It all started with the “meat” pulp, which consists of 70% water and 30% vegetable proteins. – Such a rough printed cutlet looked disgusting – admits interlocutor Marty Zinkevich. “It tasted like meat when fried, but it looked like a sole,” he adds.
One Israeli company is responsible for the revolution when it comes to 3D printing of food. Their products go to restaurants all over the world. All their cutlets and sausages are vegetarian – the expert confirms. They developed a 3D printer with three inks – one “blood”, one “muscular” and the third “fat”. By printing from these three carcasses, they are able to recreate the taste of the meat and fully reflect the structure – he adds.
Certainly, taking up 3D printers is an ethical and environmental solution. Already in 2018, the food 3D printing market was expected to grow by more than 38 percent by 2023. Today, however, the 3D printer in every kitchen remains in the circle of dreams. Still expensive equipment.
Food from a 3D printer in the service of dietetics and medicine
Pawe Mirosz, food law advisor at DZC Law Firm, sees many applications for 3D printing in the kitchen, medicine or dietetics. Food from 3D printers may be the future when it comes to food personalization and food personalization. We have many possibilities here, some interesting applications of this 3D food, for example for food intended for the elderly or patients who have problems chewing or swallowing – the specialist confirms. – Yes, food can be useful for people, for example who are overweight. By producing such food, we can take care of satiety control, the production process allowing, for example, to extend the digestion of a particular product or the duration of its chewing – he adds.
Pawe Mirosz also notes that food from a 3D printer can be used as supplements or in dietitians’ offices. In addition, the introduction of 3D printers into homes may contribute to reducing food waste in our homes. Thanks to printers, we can process products that are no longer attractive to us.
Food printing – just curious?
Pawe Ślusarczyk with Centrum Druku 3D thinks 3D food printing is just a curiosity. – This is mainly due to food law, which differs from state to state, and is also regulated by EU law. – In our country, the introduction of 3D printing of food will be a big problem – he confirms. He adds that many more permits and certificates will be necessary, which could make such printing unprofitable.
The Guest of the Four reveals that in 2018-19 the 3D Printing Center implemented an original project, as part of which a bioprinter was created, a device that creates spatial structures from hydrogel materials that can be used in cell culture. – We found out that from a technological point of view it could be a food printer – he says. – If we change the hydrogel into a paste, a chocolate, a sugar lump, it’s technically the same thing. We started talking with restaurateurs and confectioners. We’ve started a little market research – he adds.
Unfortunately, gastronomy practitioners made designers realize that their invention does not solve problems in the kitchen, but generates new ones. Confectioners, for example, are concerned with efficiency. 3D printing takes a few minutes or twelve minutes. It’s too long for a restaurant. Chocolate 3D printing also brings many challenges, in addition, the product we receive is not smooth, which is what customers are accustomed to. He adds that you can buy fancy hulls made of sugar lumps, so there’s no need for a printer.
Of course, eating with a 3D printer can be an interesting marketing ploy. This information will certainly attract many customers to the gastronomic institution.
There are already restaurants in the world that rely solely on 3D printers. At Food Ink in London, everything from menus to cutlery and food is produced using this method.
California Mills, in Santa Monica, serves French stew with croutons sprinkled with onion-flavored powder. Barcelona’s prestigious Enoteca restaurant offers a menu of exquisite dishes created in a Foodini printer. Paweł Ślusarczyk estimates that in each of the large Polish cities on the market there is also a place for 1-2 such restaurants.
Program title: the art of eating
Lead: Marta Zinkewicz
a guest: Pawe Ślusarczyk (3D Printing Center)
Date of issue: May 15 2022
broadcast time: 13.14