It is 2015, and we still don’t have the Black and Decker Hydrator system promised to us in “Back to The Future 2” (BTF2). I’m not too disappointed though, because pizza can now be printed in space, and this space pizza goes through only a few more steps than the movie predicted.
This advance in tasty technologies is the product of NASA wanting to send humans on long distance space travel missions. This could require their resources to have fifteen-plus years of shelf life and be as compact as possible. The methods engineered by Anjan Carpenter, the head of Systems & Materials Research Corporation, were created to fit these needs with compressed powders that should have a thirty year shelf life. His system utilizes capsules of powders and oils that are mixed with water to create printable pizza component materials. The powders are made from natural ingredients that are dehydrated (like BTF2) and crushed (not like BTF2). Carpenter’s machine is programmed to measure and mix specified amounts of pizza dust into pizza paste, and from there it simply prints layer upon layer of dough, tomato sauce, and finally cheese, onto a heated plate that cooks the pizza as it is being printed. To Anjan Contractor, this project is more than just a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA. He sees a future in which kitchen printers are household appliances. One where all denizens of the world can feed themselves perfectly balanced meals that can be tailored to fit a person’s medical and work needs. Capsules containing the ingredients for the food of this future could be bought anywhere and used in a variety of recipes downloaded online. Anjan even goes so far as to state that hunger could be ended if we simply start getting our nutrients from more mundane and less environmentally unstable sources, such as grass and insects. It really is amazing what 3D printing has and can bring to our world. Even if it does mean that we’ll have to eat bugs.
“The Audacious Plan to End Hunger with 3-D Printed Food.” Quartz. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.
Dunbar, Brian. NASA. NASA, 23 May 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.
“NASA’s 3D Printed Food: How Does Anjan Contractor Plan To Print Pizza? [VIDEO].” International Science Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.