3D printed colored hummus mixes additive manufacturing with gastronomy

3D printed colored hummus mixes additive manufacturing with gastronomy

Although we’ve been seeing an increase in options for using additive manufacturing for various culinary creations, the majority of edible materials has been somewhat limited due to the consistencies needed to effectively extrude the food.  Obviously, this means that the food needs to be in some way or another in a semi-liquid state in order to be extruded similar to how a baker might use a pipette to decorate a cake with frosting.  

Aiming to liven up an otherwise ‘boring’ material, 3D printing enthusiast Luis Rodriguez Alcalde from Barcelona, Spain has spent the past few years developing new ways of customizing the eating experience - with many of those experiences coming from the intersection of rapid prototyping and food.  He shares his experiences with 3D printing and gastronomy over on his blog, 3Digital Cooks.    

In a recent Instructables project (where he goes by the name 3DigitalCooks), Luis breaks down the process for creating custom 3D printed designs using custom-colored hummus.   

Although Luis uses his Pinya2 Delta-style 3D printer - which he personally built - as his printer of choice for the project, he explains that any 3D printer with syringes, cartridges, capsules or any similar container will work just fine.   

As for other ingredients and supplies, all that is needed is a steady supply of hummus, food coloring or icing colors, containers for each color, a fork and a table spoon. He made his own hummus from scratch using this recipe called The Lucky Hummus which uses these ingredients: hummus (150gr chickpeas, 20gr tahini, 5ml olive-oil a pinch of salt), avocado purée and tomato. "Blend everything until you get a consistent homogeneous mix. This hummus is thicker than normal to help building 3D structures." notes Luis.

Once the supplies have been gathered, preparing the colored hummus for printing is relatively easy: after deciding which colors you want to use, section off portions of your hummus into individual containers.  Next, the food dye is added to each container and mixed thoroughly for even consistency.  

Once each color has been mixed into the separate containers of hummus, the spoon is used to shovel the colored hummus into the syringe (or other material capsule) in any combination of colors desired.  Luis emphasizes that because you choose whichever color combinations you want, this is the most fun part about the project.    

Finally, once the syringe or capsule has been loaded, it is important to ensure that all air pockets have been removed.  If the air pockets have not been removed, the flow will be disrupted and the final print will have gaps that can affect the final intended shape.  

After a 3D file has been chosen, all that is necessary now is to print!  Don’t forget to bring the pita, too!


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