3D Printer Will Print Futuristic Fruit On Demand
Molecular gastronomy is the key to Dovetailed's most recent product push.
If the 21st century has taught us anything, it is that every aspect of our lives is open to various forms of reinterpretation through innovative and technological means. From the ways we communicate to the ways we entertain ourselves, all individuals have been witness to some of the mild tremors and seismic shifts that have come with new technology. To the culinary world, the most recent advancement causing such shockwaves is Dovetailed’s 3D fruit printer.
The Cambridge-based company created a buzz for food-lovers by debuting its 3D fruit printer at last week’s Tech Food Hack— an assemblage of culinary enthusiasts that Dovetailed’s website described as “a small group of foodies, hackers and designers [who] came together to re-think and make new dining experiences.”
The 3D fruit printer operates by utilizing a specific technique of molecular-gastronomy called spherification. This process is shown explicitly at work in a video posted to Dovetailed’s website; here, we are shown droplets of gelatinous bubbles or “pearls”— a fruit juice and alginic acid blend— that are dispensed into a container of cold calcium chloride; the resultant reaction is what eventually creates a protective skin around the bubbles and makes the 3D printed “fruit” ripe for tasting.
Though the Chief Inventor for Dovetailed, Dr. Gabriel Villar, claims, “The taste, texture, size and shape of the fruit can all be customized,” what the video reveals is that elements of this statement might only be actualized sometime in the future. As of right now, the printer is only capable of producing these “pearls” whose appearance is more akin to caviar than to cantaloupe. However, this does not undermine one of the more promising features that should have foodies of all types excited: the 3D fruit printer has the capability to customize and combine flavors to suit the specific pallet of the chooser. This, in essence, provides a potential platform for chefs and foodies to experiment with flavor combinations that have yet to be explored and examined on the road to discovering exciting and fresh tastes.
We may not be able to print out a personal-sized seedless watermelon just yet, but for food enthusiasts, Dovetailed’s 3D fruit printer is an interesting use of available technology and a promising step forward in the culinary world.