Food of the future: 3D printing

The microwave has been a staple on every Americans’ counter since it was first invented in 1945 as the solution to a hungry stomach that longed for quick and easy meals. Now, it has a new competitor—a 3D-food printer known as the “Foodini.”
While food printers aren’t a new invention, they have not successfully entered the market in the past because they required the use of pre-stuffed food capsules with ingredients that were filled with preservatives. Designed by the Florida-based company Natural Machines, the Foodini allows users to stuff food capsules with their own ingredients and cuts food preparation time down significantly.
This allows users to opt for an array of healthy and organic ingredients, and the Foodini’s manufacturers are currently working on creating pre-stuffed food capsules that are free of artificial ingredients to cut the process down even more. The open capsules are made of stainless-steel or BPA-free plastic and can be reused a few times before replacement.
The Foodini is connected to the Internet and can be used with its built-in touch screen or a personal iPad or laptop. This way, consumers can look up recipes and select from the millions that are on the Internet and then share them with other Foodini owners.
After a recipe is picked, the Foodini can prepare anything from chips to stuffed ravioli and will instruct the user in which food capsules the ingredients should be placed.
Natural Machines expects the Foodini to be on the mass-market by late spring 2015 and to be priced somewhere between $1,000-1,300, the equivalent to a high quality blender or food processer.
The main goal of Natural Machines is to prevent Americans from consuming all the processed and junk foods that are on the supermarket shelves today, and instead allowing them to create healthier and more beneficial versions of favorite products.
By providing a product that can prepare homemade foods in half the time, Natural Machines hopes to save Americans from themselves and that instead of being intimidated by home-cooking, they will realize it’ll be worth it in the long run.
The practicality of the invention, however, is questionable to the average American. The magic of home cooking comes from the preparation and the love and care with which it is created.
Culinary teacher Ana Plana said of the Foodini, “Although the concept [of the Foodini] is interesting, it will never take away the nature of someone actually taking the time to cook their own meals.”
The future of the Foodini will remain unknown until it ends up on the market, where people can try it out and see for themselves whether or not it has a future in home cooking.