Whether it is producing card-counting blackjack teams or inventing the email, it is no surprise when MIT is mentioned in the same breath as something astonishingly intelligent and innovative. But a machine which is capable of printing out food? Come on! How much more wonderfully weird can new food inventions get? Say hello to Cornucopia.
Cornucopia: the food printer
Hard at work in the basements of MIT, Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran have produced a piece of weird food wizzardry that most of us would never have imagined reading about in science fiction books, never mind preparing to encounter in the real world.
Known as Cornucopia, this food revelation has a simple goal - to produce flavorsome and multi-textured food quickly, conveniently, and economically, all the while giving users an unprecedented level of control over their food's nutritional content.
Although still at the concept design stage, Cornucopia works by storing and refrigerating ingredients in a series of small cannisters at the top of the device. Depending on the recipe which the user selects from the multi-touch screen, the required ingredients are then taken from these cannisters and mixed by the machine. Users can also adjust carbohydrate and calorie content even as their meal is being prepared. Once the selected ingredients have been mixed together they are either heated or cooled in the Cornucopia chamber, or by one of the dispensers just before leaving the machine. The result? A perfectly formed block of food, comprising both hot and cold layers, and presenting the consumer with a series of unique textures.
Cornucopia food dispensers
Well what can be said? The constantly turning cogs of the food invention bizz have churned out yet another incredibly crazy gadget. But this is not just any gadget, and people are already talking about the potential applications of such an economical device in space or in thrid world countries. Who knows, very soon saucepans and ovens may be as obsolete as Nokia's first brick-like mobile phones.
Although currently far from the grasp of curious food freaks everywhere, it certainly seems as though a bright future lies ahead for what is surely one of the most exicitng new food inventions for years. Are you ready for your first printed meal? I know I am!