Columbia Decides 3D Printed Food Tastes Like Chicken

Researchers at Columbia have used multi-wavelength lasers to cook 3D-printed chicken. Apparently, it tastes like chicken. We were not overly surprised that 3D printed chicken protein cooked up to taste like chicken, but, then again, you have to do the science.

While additive manufacturing is the latest buzzword for all kinds of manufacturing, there’s also been a variety of attempts to 3D print food. We’ve seen pizza printers and fake steak printers, too. It makes sense that you don’t want to print raw food — the finished product needs to be cooked. You can see several videos about the process, below.

On the plus side, chicken cooked with blue and infrared lasers shrinks less than conventional cooking techniques. It also supposedly retains twice the moisture content, so it is possible that 3D printed chicken might have some real advantages compared to just throwing some fryer on the grill.

We aren’t sure we are ready to convert our printer to create nuggets and we’ll stick to more conventional cooking for now. But it is good to know that when we are ready to print our next meal, there’s scientific data to help us.

If your tastes range for beef analog, we’ve seen that printer before. Converting a printer to work with food doesn’t appear to be that hard, although your results, of course, may vary.

12 thoughts on “Columbia Decides 3D Printed Food Tastes Like Chicken

  1. Sigh, CO2 lasers are not mid infrared. They are long wave. (From the video)

    “its poised to changed the way we cook and think about foods” Nope. Not gonna happen. No one is going to use lasers to cook your food, its like trying to cook with a candle. In fact a candle probably has more heat energy than any of the lasers they were using.

  2. Amazing news. Can´t wait for the next KFC extrusion, laser-burnt with the last Walt-Disney movie or Super Bowl logo. I hope the gods of marketing and giants of agro-business will make this a reality

  3. When I switched to a plant based diet around 4 years ago I expected substitute meat and dairy products to be a significant part of my diet. But it hasn’t turned out that way. I found that they just were not necessary and even when included were not the best part of the meal. I do try most of what is out there and a few are OK. But as I also want to reduce intake of processed foods meat or otherwise they just don’t appear in my shopping basket very often these days.
    I think initially the reason for buying the substitutes was because I had the mind-set of building a meal around an animal based protein, which turned out to be hard to overcome until I started looking for plant based recipes and finding there was a huge variety out there, mostly from other cultures, I had never tried, and when I did, loved.
    So when I see adverts and articles about making more realistic alternatives to animal products, the tech interests me, but the end product doesn’t.

    1. Agreed; while I have high hopes for lab grown meat cells, yeasts, even algae; for now I think the state of the art is hydroponically grown robot tended crops. We need to get the humans out of the loop as almost all farm work is near slavery both in effort and in pay. We also have yet to produce much in the way of convincing fake meat. FOr now good veggies ethically grown with as much automation as possible is the way to go for good flavor, nutrition, and fair work. Now if we can just get society wide ETF like citizen fractional ownership of the economy we could go some real Star Trek places with it.

      1. In some future utopia/dystopia, when automation has got to the point where each person has access to their own team of robots etc, and there is some agreed upon system of fair resource access/distribution, ‘getting humans out of the loop’ might be a good thing, but at the moment, it will just lead to a lot of displaced humans. If you think humans who work in agriculture are treated poorly now, wait until the business owners realize they don’t need them any more. All the tech companies care about is getting humans out of the loop to save money for the business owners, they don’t care one iota about the life of the actual workers.

  4. Taster: “It tastes.. familiar..”

    Ted: “Beef?”

    Taster: “Mmm.. No..”

    Linda: “Chicken?.. We’ll take Chicken”

    Taster: *shakes head in disagreement*

    Ted: “What does it taste like?”

    Taster: “Despair?”

    Ted: “…. Is it possible it just needs salt?”

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