Can a 3D Printer Help Promote Healthy Eating?

We can’t wait to be able to say, “beam me up, biscotti!”

We are one step closer to pressing a button and printing out a prepared, ready-to-eat meal made from fresh, raw ingredients. After a failed Kickstarter campaign, Foodini: the latest model in 3D food printing, has finally come out with its newest patent, which was showcased at Dublin's Web Summit technology conference. Simply insert raw ingredients into the Foodini, and out pops a prepared meal (both sweet and savory meals are available). So how does that constitute healthy eating? Unlike other prepared meals, or fast food, you have to insert fresh, raw ingredients into the device, so consumers know exactly what they are eating.

There is a catch: the meal that comes out is not cooked, and needs heating up. The retail price of the device will be approximately $1,300 when it is sold commercially next year. First, the folks at the Barcelona-based Natural Machines that makes Foodini will market to culinary professionals, and then the average consumer. The company is also working on a model that will actually both prepare and cook the meals.

“In essence, this is a mini food manufacturing plant shrunk down to the size of an oven," Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of Natural Machines, told CNN.

The Foodini can print out filled pastas, pizza with cheese and toppings, decorated cakes, and more.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi