A 3D printer for food could be the solution to the current food system that is unsustainable with increasing world population. But it also could facilitate space travel because the food would take 30 years to expire.
One of the many problems of space travel is the power of the astronauts, but this could soon change thanks to a 3D printer for food which is developed by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor (Company Systems and Materials Research Corporation) with NASA funding.Furthermore, this device could prove vital to feed world population once you start sustainable unless the current model.
In fact, this is the main concern of Contractor, who believes that when 12.000 million people worldwide will be using a basic 3D food printer able to synthesize nutritionally adequate meals , as recordedQuartz.com .
The process is relatively simple. The ingredients are powders that are inserted in the form of cartridges and will be combined with oils and liquids to form layers that form these dishes. Interestingly, this makes the pizza is one of the simplest recipes to create, for it fits perfectly with the layering. Additionally, cartridges may be kept for about 30 years without them spoiling.
Yes, the ingredients are very different from those we are used to using. Carbohydrates or proteins would simply powders, so no matter where they come from. That is, to not be sustainable consume, for example, meat, this may be replaced by insects. This may be unpleasant, but Contractor believes that only think this because now we can afford . However, when the population is too high that food be a bigger problem, the alternative does not sound so bad.
Meanwhile, the long-distance space travel require products that take 15 years to expire. With these cartridges powdered food could double the duration. After the pizzas space would be created layer by layer . At the moment there is a functional prototype (although you have shown similar devices such as a printer of chocolate), but construction will begin in the coming weeks.
The secret is in the dough
The first layer is the mass, which is cooked at the same time you print. Then go tomato, which is combined with water and oil, and finally the protein layer, which may come from any source. That is, from worms tograss or algae , to, of course, animal meat.
But if this recipe is not convincing, there will be others. How many? All you want, as Contractor software will open your 3D printer for food, so any you can create and share recipes. This method obtains more attention to his creation (which, incidentally, is based on open source hardware), but also cause you to have more uses.
However, this future is still somewhat open so far and really corresponds more with speculation. It is an alternative, yes, but one that requires the creation of an industry standard and a trend . However, the application in space travel itself could occur in the medium term.