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Hungry boffins turn 3D printer into snack maker

From Little Chef to Robo Chef?

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When it comes to exquisite cuisine, who said you need pots and pans? Maybe soon we'll use computers and printers to fix up meals.

A team at New York's Cornell University has been hard at work with 3D food printers, creating strange dishes with ingredients from chocolate and hummus to turkey and celery, CBC News reports.

Pastes made from each food are squirted through nozzles in a carefully controlled environment, layering texture upon texture to create an edible 3D object. The software allows for detail that would have Gordon Ramsay blurting out expletives even he wouldn't be proud of should it be attempted by hand.

Check out this miniature spaceship made from scallops and cheese. Sound tasty? The finished article looks like the work of Captain Birdseye to me.

fab@home

The process, the product, the product fried

The project, titled fab@home, is a collaboration with the NYC-based French Culinary Institute, who would like to see the tech used for new textures in food, such as gravy-absorbing meat sponges.

I can almost see it now - in a few years I'll be preparing lamb and print sauce for dinner, and they'll be a shout from upstairs: "Daaaad, we've run out of sugar cartridges." Perhaps not. ®

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