Remember that mind-blowing microwave styled device from Star Trek that turned small capsules into food? Well remember no more as Barcelona startup Natural Machines has just launched Foodini, a device that does pretty much that.
The simple fact of the matter is that they are not from the future, but from Spain, and have applied the same technology used in 3D printing to make the laziest of our fantasies come true.
So no more actually having to cook things as where’s the fun in that? Instead of using plastic, Foodini packs stainless steel capsules full of organic ingredients which are subsequently inserted into the machine and converted into yummy printed food. The team assures that the ingredients will all be organic and without preservatives with a shelf life of around 5 days. Given the certain limitations of 3D printing techniques, the Foodini can’t yet prepare you something that resembles a 5-course Michelin Star dinner but has the ability to create pretty complex designs and is making good headway with pizzas, pastas, burgers, cakes and so forth.
Co-founder of Natural Machines Lynette Kucsma, says, “It’s the same technology but with plastics there’s just one melting point, whereas with food it’s different temperatures, consistencies and textures. Also, gravity works a little bit against us, as food doesn’t hold the shape as well as plastic.”
Sounds a little freaky right? “This was probably the same reaction people had to the Microwave back in the 70’s and now there is one in every household. This is real food, with real fresh ingredients, it’s just prepared using a new technology” adds Lynette.
For now, Foodini has no built in oven which means that you still need to pop what comes out into an old fashion oven before chowing down. That said, the Natural Machines team is working on a version that will cook the food for you which will clearly be the ultimate lazy man’s dream. Along with the food printing, comes a social element that will allow the end users to connect with their friends, share recipes and and enjoy an array of other features.
In principle I think that the Foodini has a lot of potential use cases, from large factories, professional chefs to home use but they might be up against some serious traditional foodies. That said, the times they are a changing and really, how else are you expect to cook in space?
It seems that you can pretty much print anything you put you mind to nowadays, from the printing of houses, to heart replacements, and now even food. How do you feel about printed food? Will you jump on the bandwagon and pick up a Foodini for around $1000?