Nope, you didn't read the title of this post wrong! 3D printing is finally getting into the food business, to much fanfare from the online and print media. While we've already told you about exciting developments coming to 3D printing in 2014, this food news was a surprise, even for us. Though 3D printed pizza is probably the tastiest idea of the bunch, chocolate and sugar sculptures are another major application of 3D printing. Here are some of the details on exactly what's being cooked up.
From a Whisper to a Media Blitz
3D printed food first got some traction at the end of December over at Mashable, where they profiled the Foodini 3D printer and its pizza making abilities. Soon after, especially during the CES conference, which occurs each year to showcase innovative technology, the full range of items these printers could cook up soon became clear.
One of our favorite articles on the CES conference and 3D printed food is over at NPR. Here they showcase some dazzling sugar sculptures that function as sugar cubes for that cup of morning coffee, dinosaurs made out of spinach (they even look like frosted sugar cookies to us), and bread dough for a juicy angus burger bun. Sure, it might be more about how beautiful it looks than anything else, but these technologies hold a lot of promise to produce an array of food products in the future at lower costs to consumers.
Enter Hershey's Chocolate
When Amazon joined the 3D printing craze in 2013, the tech world went wild. Who is a major corporate darling of the 3D printing industry in 2014? Hershey Chocolate Company. Just a few days ago, they announced a partnership with 3D Systems. What are they looking to produce? A sophisticated 3D printer that allows both Hershey's and you at home to be able to make your own chocolate bars.
Currently, there is no timeframe as to when the actual printer will be available. And don't expect it to be cheap! Many of the other 3D printers for food run upwards of 1,000 dollars, which means you either have to be a real tech geek or have a lot of extra cash lying around to dabble in some cutting edge technology.
The only downside to all of this?
The food itself might not taste any good, according to a report from the AP. Until they can perfect this technology, we think we'll stick to an handmade pie, made by the experts at our favorite Italian restaurant. While we like the idea behind a 3D printed pizza, we imagine there will probably never be any way to recreate the experience of biting into melted mozzarella cheese.
Feel free to share what food you'd most like to try below or let us know your gut reaction on the idea of having your food printed. In the meantime, bon apetit!