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The Scope of 3D Printing in Food Manufacturing

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3D printing has fast become one of the most sought after concepts in the world, with the 3D printers now able to lay down materials and designs made from plastics, resins, and other materials. Yet making an object through a printer for use is one thing and using it to produce food is quite another. This distinction; however, seems to be coming to an end with the advancements in 3D printing leaving it on the verge of using ingredients to produce edible, 3 dimensional food.

The Rise

The emergence of edible 3D printing happened with the production of Cornell’s Fab@Home printer. This printer works like an inkjet printer and builds layers upon layers of liquids to eventually complete the shape of the design that it was made to produce. While 3D printing has been one of the leading revelations in the tech market for a few years now, it was only when people started experimenting with it from stuff from the kitchen that the idea really developed.

It Is Already Being Used

With the concept of 3D edible printing continuing its relatively recent meteoric rise, it would definitely be a surprise for you to know that 3D printed food items has already hit the market in some countries. In Netherlands, microwave pancakes are being printed. They are however not completely 3D printed with the producing company calling it a 2 and a half printing since they are made using simple batter disposition.

Growing In Reach And Influence

The reach and sphere of 3d printed edibles continues to increase. While 3d printed edibles may not be the most complex food manufacturing machines, yet they continue to intrigue people with their functions. Increasingly, companies have started to make use of 3D edible printing to their advantage. Choc Edge in the UK for example has been selling a printer that can melt chocolate and make shapes that you want.
This has not only been used by entrepreneurs to make use of the new technology for profit but also by leading technology and internet giants Google in their cafeteria. The Google Cafeteria from late last year has introduced 3D printed pastas for its staff to eat.

What The Future Holds?

Despite the apparent rise in popularity and use of 3D edible printing, there is still quite some time for the technology to reach the point to create all kinds of foods such as burgers, pizzas etc. The printer thus far is unable to work with a large variety of items that are used in manufacturing. The printer has been unable to put together ingredients that are different and vary in their temperature. However, it seems that while the evolution of the 3D printer will lead to the printer being able to produce a large number of complex foods in the future. That being said, the use of 3D printers to create raw materials like lettuce etc. that naturally exist may prove a step too far.

 

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