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Hoping to overcome the limitations of current 3D food printers (3DFPs), scientists from Columbia University have developed a new method to 3D print cooked food. This latest method is unique insofar as it can combine different ingredients—such as chicken with dough—and cook each ingredient selectively.
Most importantly too, the products are edible. And, according to the researchers, “The high resolution of our IR spot allows for the combination of food ingredients at a much closer level, giving rise to new flavor profiles and inventive food recipes that would be more challenging to achieve using conventional cooking methods.”
Findings - Printing - Additive - Manufacturing - Columbia
Publishing their findings in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, the Columbia team state that “Current 3DFPs are limited with their ability to combine ingredients due to the lack of high-resolution heating; they are limited to using microwaves, ovens, and other common heating appliances to process extruded food.”
To overcome the limitations of cooking multiple different ingredients at the same time in a 3D printer, the Columbia team retrofitted an existing CNC machine (a modified X-Carve) with an extrusion and heating mechanism – a infrared (IR) lamp. The use of IR technology allowed the food to be cooked without physical contact with the lamp, making it ideal for so-called “food layered manufacture” (FLM).
Pictures - IR - Spot - Cooking - Print
Pictures of the IR spot cooking of the three-dimensional-printed multi-material print (sesame paste and chicken paste) from start to finish. Image via 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.
“Integrating an infrared lamp heating mechanism into the printer allows for more precise spatial control of the heat being delivered to printed food, the ability to create complex food patterns with more ingredient complexity, and the integration of multiple food ingredients in a single 3D object,” claims the paper.
Evolution - Food
An evolution in 3D printed food
In recent years many companies have made inroads into the 3D printed food market.
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