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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Is 3D Printing the Future of Gluten-free Food?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      WASP Takes on the Gluten-Free Challenge with a Celiac-Safe 3D Food Printer.


    Caption: Photo: CC--Hiroshi Yoshinaga

    Celiac.com 03/31/2017 - Imagine going to restaurants in the future and having your gluten-free food made and prepared to order using a 3D printer. That's the future envisioned by WASP, an Italian company on a mission to use 3D printing technology to solve serious problems that afflict people.

    WASP is in the business of improving quality of life through 3D printing, from spinal care to architecture to athletics, including their latest effort with celiac disease.

    Inspired by the opening of a 3D printed pop-up restaurant, Food Ink., WASP wants to allow restaurants to easily set up gluten-free kitchens inside their regular kitchens; something that is currently a challenging and expensive task.

    WASP envisions dedicated 3D printing equipment strictly for preparing gluten-free foods, with no risk of contamination from the other food prep equipment in the rest of the kitchen.

    To achieve their goals, the company enlisted the help of Francesco Favorito, a chef who specializes in gluten-free foods and who founded Zeroinpiú, a line of gluten-free flour and pastry mixes.

    Favorito devised a special gluten-free pastry mix, which he then put into a modified a DeltaWASP 20 40 by incorporating an extruder that heated and pre-cooked the mix during extrusion. The products were then finished in normal oven.

    At Sigep, a baking and coffee expo held each January, the WASP 3d food printer stirred considerable interest from attendees.

    Another demonstration of the printer was given at Carnival in Opificio Golinelli at the beginning of February, this time with the participation of Francesco Bombardi, an architect, designer and the founder of Fab Lab Reggio Emilia. Bombardi is also the founder of Officucina, a specialized space dedicated to food innovation and equipped with 3D printers, lasers, and other advanced technology.

    WASP says it learned a great deal from the early trials. For example, adding heated butter increases fluidity and helps the mixture extrude more smoothly.

    WASP notes that, even though the printer's main purpose is to create safe gluten-free foods for people with celiac disease, it can also be used to create complex shapes that would be impossible using normal methods.

    Are you ready for some 3D printed gluten-free food from your favorite restaurant? Stay tuned for updates on this and other stories about gluten-free end celiac-friendly food technology.

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    So there would be no salad, vegetables, or fruit on these gluten-free menus. Meat would be extruded from paste. This sounds awful! So much for whole, real food! The only things this might do well are baked goods. When I go out to eat, I want quality food. I wouldn't pay for 3D printed meals.

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    Guest Jefferson Adams

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    So there would be no salad, vegetables, or fruit on these gluten-free menus. Meat would be extruded from paste. This sounds awful! So much for whole, real food! The only things this might do well are baked goods. When I go out to eat, I want quality food. I wouldn't pay for 3D printed meals.

    I think you're misunderstanding the technology. I'm pretty sure most meat and vegetables are already gluten-free. I think the printing would be reserved for things like gluten-free pastry dough, or other items that might be difficult to do in a standard commercial kitchen.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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