According to a report in New Scientist, NASA is funding research that could lead to 3D printed food technology. Texas-based Anjan Contractor of Systems and Materials Research Corporation obtained funding from NASA's Small Business Innovation Research Program to develop a "fully functional" 3D food printer.
The goal of this program is to creat te a way to produce nutritious food, while storing the ingredients compactly, during a lengthy Mars mission. We suspect another major benefit sought is to introduce variety and change into food preparations. If you're stuck in a tiny spacecraft for over a year, you'd like some variety, too.
The food printer will store food material in powder form, adding liquid during printing to enable extrusion. Apparently they've already printed "noodles, turkey loaf, basil paste, bread and cake".
While the shapes the food can be printed into will vary considerably, we hope the taste will be equally varied.
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