Lasers could bring the precision of 3D printing to the cooking of food

Even although it is now doable to 3D-print meals into millimeter-precise shapes and varieties, cooking these printed meals continues to be a reasonably inexact course of. Scientists are attempting to change that, by utilizing lasers to cook dinner meals to particular optimized requirements.

Led by PhD scholar Jonathan Blutinger, a crew at Columbia University began by pureeing uncooked rooster then extruding it by means of the nozzle of a 3D food printer, creating samples measuring 3 mm thick by about one sq. inch (645 sq mm) in space. They then exactly heated that rooster through pulses of both blue or near-infrared laser gentle, at wavelengths of 445 nanometers for the former and both 980 nanometers or 10.6 micrometers for the latter.

The laser moved throughout the meat in varied trochoidal spiral patterns, with cooking instances starting from 5 to 14 minutes. An infrared digicam repeatedly measured the floor temperature of the rooster, whereas eight embedded thermistors monitored its inside temperature.

A 3D-printed pattern of rooster is cooked utilizing a blue laser

Columbia University

For the greatest mixtures of gentle sort, spiral sample and cooking time, it was discovered that the laser-cooked rooster shrank half as a lot as oven-broiled management samples, plus it retained twice as a lot moisture and exhibited related “flavor development.” In truth, in a blind style check carry out by two volunteers, each topics most well-liked the style of the rooster that was cooked with lasers.

“Cooking is essential for nutrition, flavor, and texture development in many foods, and we wondered if we could develop a method with lasers to precisely control these attributes,” says Blutinger. “What we still don’t have is what we call ‘Food CAD,’ sort of the Photoshop of food. We need a high-level software that enables people who are not 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.”

The analysis is described in a paper that was not too long ago printed in the journal npj Science of Food. There’s extra data on the laser-cooking course of in the video under.

Robots that Cook: precision cooking with multiwavelength lasers

Source: Columbia University

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