One Dutch food designer thinks 3D printing with living organisms could be the future of sustainable food, creating crackers that sprout greens and mushrooms days after they're 3D-printed into existence.
"A 3D-printer builds cracker-like structures made with seeds, spores, and yeast," Yahoo Food explains. "In three to four days, when the seeds and spores have fully sprouted, it’s snack time." The project is intended to demonstrate "how 3D printing could transform the food industry." Designer Chloé Rutzerveld argues that by 3D printing food "you can make the [food] production chain very short," with less transportation and land requirements.
While Rutzerfeld estimates it will be least eight to ten years before foods like this could hit the market, other companies are already utilizing 3D printing for other culinary endeavors. Chocolate giant Hershey's will soon install a 3D printer at its Pennsylvania headquarters to enable customers to create custom-shaped chocolates, while tech companies have invented printers capable of extruding everything from Nutella to pastry dough.