Engineers cook 3D printed chicken with lasers

Cooked chicken and the laser light that gets the job done.

If you’re tired of cooking chicken that comes out chewy or raw, there may be a new solution for you. A team of researchers from Columbia University recently demonstrated that several types of lasers can be used to thoroughly cook 3D printed chicken, without detrimental effects on the taste of food.

The results are the latest step in the lab’s progress towards digitizing the cooking process. The team cooked chicken right on a table, no need for a conventional oven or stove. Tthe results of the heir were published this month in the newspaper npj Food science.

“Cooking is essential for the development of the nutrition, flavor and texture of many foods, and we wondered if we could develop a method with lasers to precisely control these attributes,” said Jonathan Blutinger, Engineer. at Columbia University and lead author of the article, at a university Press release.

After mixing the chicken in a mash potatoes and 3D print thin layers in various shapes, the team exposed the meat blue, near infrared, and medium infrared laser light. The team found that different types of light cook food in different ways:Blue lasers were better for cooking inside chicken, while infrared light was best for browning the area.

Laser-cooked foods were more moist and shrunk less than oven-roasted foods, the team reported. Two on two tThe astes testers preferred laser-cooked meat over conventionally cooked chicken. Beyond that, lasers could cook food through plastics, meaning the team could cook food in packaging.

An artist's concept of a cooking device that 3D prints food from different packets of ingredients.

The research came from Columbia University Creative machines laboratory, where for years engineers tinkered with 3D printers to make food. They started with cookie dough and other foods “easy to extrude through a nozzle,” as Blutinger put it in one. Presentation 2017 on research. Blutinger added in the same presentation that, in the future, consumers could put their biometrics or genomic data into such food printers, which could personalize meals for them.

Co-author Hod Lipson, a mechanical engineer at Columbia who runs the Creative Machines lab, said in the same Release that the technology is not yet scalable. “We need top-notch software that allows people who aren’t programmers or software developers to design the foods they want. And then we need a place where people can share digital recipes, like we share music, ”he said.

In addition to the technological and scaling challenges, he can take time for people to learn about a new way of cooking. Some people have engaged relationships with their gas stoves or pressure cookers.

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