By now we're all quite used to seeing blended fruit juices such as banana-strawberry or apple-lime, but what about solid three-dimensional hybrid fruits that are made to order? Well, that's just what Cambridge, UK-based design company Dovetailed is promising, with its 3D fruit printer.
The machine was unveiled last Saturday at the Tech Food Hack event in Cambridge.
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Although details on how it works are still a bit sparse, it is said to utilize "a molecular-gastronomy technique called spherification [that] combines individual liquid droplets with different flavors into a fruit shape."
According to a report on 3DPrint, the process likely involves combining fruit puree or juice with sodium alginate and then dripping the mixture into a bowl of cold calcium chloride. This causes the droplets to form into tiny caviar-like spheres, which could subsequently be mixed with spheres derived from other fruits. The blended spheres could then being pressed, extruded or otherwise formed into fruit-like shapes.
The designers claim that the machine is capable of 3D-printing existing types of fruit such as apples or pears, or user-invented combined fruits, within seconds. They add that the taste, texture, size and shape of those fruits can all be customized.
"Our 3D fruit printer will open up new possibilities not only to professional chefs but also to our home kitchens – allowing us to enhance and expand our dining experiences," said Dovetailed founder Vaiva Kalnikaitė.
The machine can be seen in action in the video below.