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.
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.