Food printing is highly promising, but the technique is still at its developing phase. If you would like to try a 3D printed meal today, you’ll probably end up eating a 3D printed chocolate figurine, a pancake or a pizza. These are all unhealthy products, and in order to become a mainstream way to produce meals, food printing needs to search for a smart way to produce more healthy meals. We’ve seen some interesting projects with healthy 3D printed meals recently, such as the Foodini and a fruit printer, and now Dutch industrial design student Chloé Rutzerveld comes up with something newsworthy: her so-called Edible Growth project.
For this project, she 3D printed a healthy biscuit matrix, which contains plants. At the start she created the matrix on a 3D modeling program. She printed it out and then printed a combination of seeds, spores and yeast into it. The biscuit itself was made from dried fruits, vegetables and a gelatinous paste, called Agar Agar. It functions as a soil for the seeds and yeast. After waiting for about five days, the plants have sufficiently grown and the product can be eaten. If you, however, wait a little longer, you will give the plants some more time to grow, and the food’s taste will intensify.
This sort of food printing is actually a combination of healthy food printing and growing real – eatable – plants. By combining old and new ways to produce meals, Rutzerveld opens a new chapter for food printing. Food printing is often also called on-demand printing, and a group of Indian students recently pointed that out very well with a project for on-demand airline meals. In a way, Rutzerveld’s project can also be seen as an on-demand food printing project, but the difference here is that her on-demand food – something that can be seen as a quick way of producing food – needs the time to slowly grow, which surely is a striking contradiction, but hey, it works, doesn’t it?
In an interview with Dutch media source Omroep Brabant, she says her product can’t be added to the market yet, as more investments are needed. She did apparently get a lot of fanmail from Australia and the United Stated, which showed the universal interest in her project. What it basically comes down to is that this project needs backing from a wealthy company or a successful crowdfunding campaign. We sincerely think Edible Growth has potential to become a successful project on Kickstarter. All in all, it’s a project to keep an eye on.
Image credits: Chloé Rutzerveld.