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Dinner of the Future

Libi Astaire

Remember the days when frozen dinners, instant coffee, and orange juice made from a powder were the neatest foods to hit stores since sliced bread? Food technology today has a whole lot more in store for you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Food technology — a science that took off in the early 1800s when French inventor Nicolas Appert discovered how to preserve food in an airtight container — is advancing by leaps and bounds, rapidly changing the way we store, prepare, and cook our meals. A generation ago, frozen dinners were the new products dazzling consumers, while food cooked by microwaves seemed like something out of science fiction. Today, heating up frozen vegetables in the microwave doesn’t warrant a blink of the eye. So, what’s the next big thing for us?

Meet the Cornucopia, a 3-D food printer designed byMarceloCoelhoandAmitZoranof the MIT Media Lab. When they unveiled their creation in 2010, the media went wild, hailing it as a personal food factory that fuses advanced digital technology with traditional kitchen tasks such as mixing, shaping, and cooking.

How It Works: The process begins when you select a food item on the touch screen. The preprogrammed “recipe” selects the necessary ingredients, which are stored in individual refrigerated canisters, and then tells the Cornucopia exactly how much of each ingredient to pipe into the mixing chamber. After the ingredients are mixed, they are extruded according to the selected shape and either heated or cooled in the printer’s cooking chamber. When done, the food items are “printed” onto a small tray, ready to serve and eat.

 

 

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