There are many things in the world of food, farming and technology that constantly surprise us. 3D printing has become increasingly popular in order to create and be innovative in many aspects of life. However I do not think many of us have considered the implications of this technology on how we make and consume food.
In South Korea the technology is being researched to see if it is possible to create bespoke powdered food that can then be 3D printed into a food or shape that we would recognise as something edible.
The food material is ground down under very low temperatures, they are they are reconstructed into a form that can be printed in layers. It is thought that if a powdered form is available it could be mixed with water to enable printing at home. The researchers believe that this technology can replicate taste and texture.
They also can see how printing food at home could reduce food waste, as you would only print the amount you want to eat. It would also cut down on food packaging, transportation costs and have long term environmental benefits.
This technology is in its infancy, it is a lab based idea, however the idea of having customised food capsules which would meet our individual nutritional needs, increases food storage times and increases our ability to absorb essential nutrients, is an exciting prospect and an interesting use of the growing interest in 3D printing. The question is does technology like this move us further away from understanding where our food comes from and how it is grown, or is it a modern way of dealing with global food issues?