Tech
Designer Dishes: Get Your Tastebuds Ready for 3D Printed Food
26 Jun 2015

Ripples Personalised Coffee Is Making Waves

Ripple Maker

Starbucks coffee art? Pfft, get with the times! Now you can embellish your fresh morning cup of joe with an inspirational message to get your butt in gear, a picture of your loved ones, or pretty much anything you can think of thanks to Ripples.

Ripples is an innovative new product which sprays tiny coffee droplets onto the surface of your coffee’s creamy foam, much like an inkjet printer, to personalize the coffee for what they call “an emotionally caffeinated experience”.

The Ripples machine is separate to your existing coffee machine, but its minimal form factor means it won’t hog all the counter space, and its personalization process takes a mere ten seconds.

This machine is just another example of how the world is changing before our very eyes and each customers individual needs and wants are being catered to with new technologies, the future is here ladies and gentlemen, and it’s here to stay!

Chocolate. Have we got your attention?

3D Chocolate

“How fast do you want me to run, Mr. Printer, Sir?” is what you’d be hastily spouting out of your mouth every morning at the promise of being rewarded with sweet delicious chocolate smiley faces for your efforts.

A new science experiment in Melbourne, Australia is underway where 10 lucky families have been given a 3d printer that rewards the family members with chocolate treats based on their levels of activity throughout the day.

"We think of it as positive reinforcement," Said Rohit Ashok Khot,  a Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology researcher. "It's not directly looked at in terms of the size and quantity, but the more exercise you do, the more cheerful and beautiful the chocolate becomes."

If you think you’re going to run yourself into a obesity, fear not. The dark chocolate treats will be restricted to around 30 milliliters a day.

For science!

3D Printed Meals Of The Near Future

3D Carrots

Before you get excited about 3D printed chocolate, don’t forget to eat your dinner! 3D printed food is a part of the future, and there’s no denying it. Printers are already at work manufacturing pasta, biscuits, chocolate and even entire meals.

Dr Kjeld van Bommel is a research scientist with TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, and for the past five years he has been working at the forefront of the new technology.

Among his projects which are funded by the EU, there is some interesting research ongoing in 3D printed vegetables and meat for the elderly. The meat and vegetables are printed from a puree into the shape of what they would be accustomed to seeing as a whole food, as an alternative to the blobs of pureed food they currently get.

‘It's a very specific group of elderly people, people that are suffering from a condition that's called dysphagia, which means that they cannot chew and swallow regular foods,’ he says. ‘These people already have problems eating, they see this not very attractive food, and they get malnourished.’ he added.

Whilst whole foods are needed as the raw ingredient to print the new foods, it allows the nutrients to be altered to suit individual needs.

‘You tell the printer to mix the ingredients in different ratios and every portion is then sent to the printer and different products come out with different compositions,’ van Bommel explains, ‘and that's something that regular technology cannot really do.’

Now, which button turns the spinach into chocolate...

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