Anjan Contractor’s 3D food printer might evoke visions of the “replicator” popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer.
But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing, envisions a much more mundane-and ultimately more important-use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth’s 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor’s vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.
I – Word Understanding
Audacious – surprising and daring
Evoke – to bring a memory into mind
Prototype – a sample or model
Synthesizer – an electronic machine that produces and controls (sounds)
Mundane – ordinary
II – Have your say
1.Some of the alternative ingredients for the future printed 3d foods are:
Grass lupine seeds
Insects beet leaves
2.The world’s first gun made with 3D printer technology has been successfully fired in the US.