A Spanish company has combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports.
Put aside the mixing bowl and cookie cutters, baking the perfect Christmas snack just got a whole lot easier. Find a design you like on the internet, choose the type of dessert you're in the mood for …and then press print. This machine is called Foodini, a 3D printer designed to print edible products and according to Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of tech start up Natural Machines, printing food will empower ordinary people to create desserts worthy of a French patisserie. SOUNDBITE (English) NATURAL MACHINES CO-FOUNDER AND CMO LYNETTE KUCSMA, SAYING: "So rather than going to the supermarket and buying those packages of pre-processed, pre-made foods that have artificial ingredients, preservatives and additives, chemical sounding ingredient names, we want people to come back to the kitchen and make those foods with fresh ingredients. And 3D food printing can help with the food forming and assembling these foods." The Foodini is connected to a cloud database filled with recipes the machine can print. After choosing a dish, the user is instructed to load the ingredients into the printer. The rest of the process is fully automated. Food technologist Sonia Hurtado says Foodini is both easy and fun to use - she's printing a butterfly cookie. SOUNDBITE (English) NATURAL MACHINES EMPLOYEE SONIA HURTADO, SAYING: "It prints layer by layer. That is how it gets the height of the object. In our case we are printing a butterfly design. We have done it ourselves, but users can also download it on the net and that is it. It is easy, just about preparing the ingredients, putting them in the printer and clicking "print" when you have the object, the design prepared. So, that is it." And it's not just dessert - Foodini prints savoury food as well. Hurtado says she gets a lot of joy when printing the perfect pizza. Foodini isn't quite ready for its public debut and will miss Christmas this year - the company expects to begin selling the printer in the second half of 2015.