Edible treats aren’t anything new to the 3D printing scene. Consumers have already seen such things as 3D-printed chocolates, sugar candies, and were even treated to the recent launch of a 3D-printed pizza. However, while the market seems to be geared towards savoury snacks that aren’t in any way friendly for our waistlines, we’ve yet to see staples that ought to be involved in our diets. That is, not until now. One British company, Dovetailed, have invented the world’s first 3D fruit printer that does just what it says on the box: it prints fruit.
About the 3D Fruit Printer
Launched by Dovetailed, a computer hardware company based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, the 3D Fruit Printer is a machine that prints three-dimensional fruit models using textured proteins and other edible materials to create fruits that are completely safe for consumers to eat. What’s more is that users are in full control of what they actually want the fruit to taste like. For example, if they’re not fans of strawberries but like the taste of banana, they could create something with the texture of a strawberry that also has the taste of a banana.
How It Works
The printer uses technology based on molecular gastronomy and spherification. These processes take liquid mixtures that are used with the printer to form a series of edible globs of mold, which closely resemble pearls. These pearls are then dipped into a bath of calcium chloride that produces a skin around the glob of liquid, which offers the mold a sort of structural integrity before it’s passed onto the final printing phase where it’s shaped to the desired fruit.
In a sense, the 3D Fruit Printer is more of a mixing machine than anything else. The globs of fruit flavouring are the biggest idea behind the printer and users are in complete control of what they want the resultant flavours to be. It is even theoretically possible for users to mix fruit flavours to create new fruit flavours altogether. Following the flavouring process, it’s then infused into the mold of the fruit, then finally delivered to the user for consumption.
The 3D Fruit Printer was first seen on May 24, 2014 at the TechFoodHack, which was a technology-based event for all things edible in the 3D printer world and was quipped an “experimental food hackathon”. It was hosted in Cambridge, UK and co-organized by Dovetailed and Microsoft Research.