3D Food Printing technology is undoubtedly new. What’s new is unknown and what’s unknown can be distrustful, doubtful and questionable. While there is certainly nothing wrong in doubting and asking questions, we all know how it is - Internet is also full of unproven theories, groundless judgments and myths. In this new blog series we go beyond these myths! We will knock them down, explain the reality and resolve the most common concerns about 3D Food Printing. Let’s start with helping the chefs sleep peacefully - the printer is not there to steal your jobs!
We can’t deny that there are endless examples of professions where human labour was partly or completely replaced by technology. It’s not a surprise then that chefs and other food professionals are worried as well. Especially as the titles like Machines are coming for your jobs or Robots taking control over the food industry are irresistible for the media, thus easy-to-find all over the Internet. What’s usually missing in those articles or posts, so enthusiastically announcing the robotic revolution, is an explanation how 3D Food Printing actually works. If only it was there, the readers would immediately understand that 3D Food Printers are not a new enemy. In fact, in contrary, they can become a very helpful friend.
From a food professional's perspective, 3D Food Printing is nothing else than a food preparation process. However, the process is new, unique and offers outstanding applications, not known to any other kitchen tool or device. The 3D Food Printer makes it possible to create almost any kind of shape with almost any kind of food. Yes, normal & fresh food. Yes, so simple and mind-blowing at the same time.
If you are a creative type, probably you already imagine a beetroot in a shape of a carrot or a fancy, fine-dining dish resembling more an architectural construction than actual food (and you’re on the right track!). If you are also a practical type, you probably can’t wait for the explanation how it actually works. Here it is then.
byFlow’s 3D Food Printer – the Focus, is suitable for printing various food ingredients. We’ve developed already over 50 recipes for 3D Food Printing and while it’s possible to experiment with different flavors and develop your own recipes, the most important element is always the preparation of a smooth, printable paste out of the ingredient chosen. Chocolate needs to be melted, vegetables need to be blended, meat needs to be finely minced and so on.
The design (thus the desired shape of the final pirint) can be, depending on the chef’s choice, drawn from scratch, downloaded from byFlow’s website or transformed from a picture. When the file is ready, it has to be send to the Focus 3D Food Printer via Wi-Fi
The the next step of 3D Food Printing is filling in a food safe, refillable cartridge and fixing it in the printer. The last thing to do is to press PRINT. The food will be pushed out of the cartridge through a nozzle, while the printer is making a XYZ-movement. Multiple layers are being deposited on top of each other to create a design desired. Depending on the complexity of the design and the volume, a 3D Print takes 2 minutes for a small appetizer up to 15 minutes for a whole dish.
It doesn’t take much to notice now, that saying that the 3D Food Printer is stealing chefs’ jobs is as ridiculous as claiming that it was stolen by a blender, a microwave or an oven. Of course the device is doing things which are not achievable by hand, but it only automates a final part of the whole cooking process which, as every good chef knows best, is way longer and way more complex than the ending element of creating a shape on a plate.
Still not convinced? Then listen what Jan Smink, Dutch Bocuse d'Or winner and working for *** Michelin Restaurant De Librije, says about using the Focus 3D Food Printer. He doesn’t seem to be frighten that it will steal his job, does he?