We all know very well that new iPhone models come out every two years on average. Now imagine: what would happen if, instead of the well-known apple-shaped brand, real apples were upgraded with the same frequency? Today we will discuss a research project that will revolutionise the way we prepare and eat food.
At the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, a research team led by Professor Bhesh Bhandari and Dr Sangeeta Prakash is finalising a system to print food in 3D. The aim is to give life to a new generation of foodstuffs obtained entirely by using this system, with considerable advantages for the entire food industry: from customised and digitised nutrition to the simplification of supply chains, not to mention the possibility to extend food resources at a global level.
The fields of application are almost endless: just think, for example, about people with special dietary needs such as children or old people who have problems swallowing food. If we can print a meat pie that looks like any other hamburger - but is much easier to swallow - we can truly improve the quality of life for all.
Or consider the possibility to customise not only the taste of food, but also its nutritional value, offering people food to measure that perfectly meets their health needs. We might even turn food into works of art and stay comfortably seated while our household appliance creates a beautiful sculpture in a few seconds.
It should be recalled that, as early as 2009, we Italians invented and created a vending machine that can mix, prepare and cook our favourite dish: pizza! The project was developed in Trentino with the support of the University of Padua: the 3D printers were still far from actual food, but the dough, the preparation and the taste of pizza were impressive. If you happen to go to Malpensa airport, you can see and taste an automatic pizza that is ready in only 3 minutes! Including the dough! If, instead, you are just curious to see how this is done, watch the video!