Cambridge firm Dovetailed has unveiled its unique approach to 3D food printing. Using the molecular gastronomic technique of spherification, the firm is developing a method for 3D fruit printing that has the potential to change the way that food printing is looked at entirely.
At Tech Food Hack this month, “an experimental dining hackathon” organized by Dovetailed and Microsoft Research Cambridge, the firm showed off its spherification printer capable of 3D printing liquid drops of different flavours into a predetermined shape for the “creation of interesting bespoke fruits.”
Spherification works by taking a liquid, combining it with a sodium rich gel, like sodium alginate, and introducing it to a cold solution of calcium chloride. This results in the formation of a delicate skin around the liquid, containing it in a sphere-shape. Dovetailed’s 3D fruit printer applies this process to fruit juices, presumably dripping fruit juice combined with sodium alginate into a cold bath of calcium chloride in a programmed formation.
Creative Director and Founder of Dovetailed, Vaiva Kalnikaitė thinks their 3D fruit printer will open up new possibilities not only to professional chefs but also to our home kitchens.
The drops created through spherification liquify in an eater’s mouth, which does limit the sorts of foods that can be created with Dovetailed’s 3D fruit printer. Also the shapes created with the printer are not very tightly controlled, yet.
Once the process is perfected and demonstrated with a wider variety of forms and flavors, it’s easy to imagine endless combinations of fun and innovative 3D-printed recipes.