Nūfood is a 3D food printer making “flavour bursts” to accompany food and drinks. This printer was created by Dovetailed, a startup founded by Vaiva Kalnikaitė with Gabriel Villar as the chief developer. Based in Cambridge, England, at the university’s Idea Space, the company describes itself as an unconventional user experience design studio and innovation lab delivering design thinking and beautifully crafted experiences to innovative companies and global brands. Dovetailed creates technologies for CAD design, self-quantification, everyday memory, internet of things, public visualisations, wearables, behavioural change, experimental dining and of course – food 3D printing.
Nūfood is different from all other food 3D printers in that it prints using liquids. The key difference is that unlike all other food 3D printers nūfood uses the raw ingredient in liquid form (i.e fruit juice) and not a composite material. The printer is able to make three dimensional structures by using the drops as a building material. It does this by encapsulating each drop within a very thin membrane which allows the drops to stick together. The membrane also gives these foods a unique popping sensation when eaten!
There’s scope to play with shapes and colours. Take a raspberry for example, with the nūfood printer you can print something that has the exact delicious flavour of a raspberry but design it in a way that is far from its natural form, by making it blue and in the shape of a cube. Dovetailed have said themselves that they like to play with traditional concepts like “strawberries and cream” and have printed the two flavours together in a bite-sized piece.
Making these “flavour burst” foods is easy as the nūfood printer works together with a user friendly phone app. This app allows you to print up to two flavours at once and gives you the chance to design your own pattern or the option to choose from their library – within minutes your food garnish is ready!
The team’s aim is not only to bring the nūfood in to our homes but also to introduce the idea to appliance manufacturers and for them to use their technology and apply it on an industrial scale. In addition, they also see big potential for food and beverage manufacturers looking for new technologies for product development. That can be for making new products from scratch or adding value to their existing line. We can’t wait to see what’s next!