Snazzleberries!: 3-D Printing Mixed-Fruit Flavored Berries

June 2, 2014

3d-printed-berries.jpg

Berries: everybody loves them. One time in college I was wandering around campus high when I stumbled across a wild blackberry patch. I sat there in the sunlight for like an hour just eating and dyeing my hands purple. It was the best day of my life. Now UK company Dovetailed has developed a 3-D fruit and berry printer. I am going to invent so many new flavors!

Dovetailed is sparse with details on how their new printer works, but it more than likely uses a molecular gastronomy technique called "spherification." This begins when fruit juice or puree gets mixed with a thickening agent (usually sodium alginate). Then, the substance is added to a bowl of calcium salt where it forms into spheres with tiny skins that hold all the juiciness inside (sort of like fruit in its native form). The 3D printer then combines these spheres and prints them out in whatever combination of flavors, textures and shapes you want. Or you can just print out a plain pear or apple or any other fruit you have a craving for.

Pretty awesome, right? Now you print some new berry flavor combinations and I'll try to guess what they are. *eating* Mmmm, strawboysenberry. I liked that one a lot, clearly you have a knack for this. *eating another* YUM -- blue strawcherry. Keep going. *bites, immediately spits out* Dingleberry -- good one, jerk.

Keep going for a video of a ripe berry being printed.

Thanks to Garbera, who always buys fresh berries at the farmer's market on Sundays and bakes pies. Please tell me you leave them on the windowsill to cool.

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