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When it comes to food trends of the future 3D printing is at the forefront of innovation. What was once a Jetsons-like fantasy has become mainstream technology as researchers find new ways of adapting 3D printing technology to one of our basic needs: food. Although there's still much to be accomplished in the field it's fair to say 3D printed foods are here to stay. Need proof? Here are the top 3D printed food designs we showcased in 2013 and why they matter:
This fancy gadget may soon replace your microwave oven. The Foodini is capable of making 3D printed pizza, burger buns, crackers and chocolate figures from scratch. This kitchen robot is still in its developmental stages but is estimated to retail for about 1,000 euros ($1,369).
With innovative machines like this one you'll be able to make your very own textured rollers to create Escher designs on cookies. It may not be a tool for everyday cooks but this is a machine that has the potential of revolutionizing the field of professional pastry.
This year NASA awarded a $125,000 grant to Systems & Materials Research Corporation in hopes the company could develop a "food synthesizer," aka a 3D food printer. It's all part of the preparation for the Mars Mission expect to take place in the 2030s. You can bet 3D printed pizza is just the tip of the iceberg.
Without a doubt, 3D printed foods have shined in the pastry spectrum this year. The Sugar Lab, which is based in Los Angeles, debuted sculptural sugar creations meant to be used by pastry chefs. The ornate sugar cubes come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used in anything from sweetening hot beverages to decorating wedding cakes.
Here's a 3D printed food that is both tasty and completely functional. This mushroom chair is a great example of the many ways 3D printing technology can be applied to sustainable practices. Each component of the chair was printed separately and joined by hand. The chair produces actual mushrooms you can pluck and use in the cooking. How's that for sustainable?