Dec.30, 2013

Italy-based pasta maker Barilla plans to equip every restaurant with 3D food printers in a few years. Customers could then get their own designed 3D printed pasta on the plate in a few minutes. Barilla is working with TNO Eindhoven in the Netherlands to make it happen. Kjeld van Bommel, project leader at TNO, confirms that they have been working with Barilla on this project for two years.

Making pasta in a traditional way (Photo: ANP)

According to van Bommel, several experimental 3D food printers have already been installed in a few restaurants in Eindhoven. And Barilla says it hopes to go international by 2014.

Barilla, the world's leading pasta manufacturer, is the first food production company that sees the potential of 3D printers. Although still in the experimental stage, TNO expects that in a few years 3D food printers will become a mass-market device.

TNO demonstrated one of its 3D food printer at EuroMold 2013.

For Barilla, the speed of 3D food printer is especially important but TNO's device is not there yet. "We are working on improving the speed of the printer." says van Bommel. Barilla's goal is to print 15 to 20 pieces of pasta in about 2 minutes. "That would be possible." explains van Bommel. "The print speed now is ten times faster than when we started two years ago."

Photo: TNO - TNO 3D food printer

A 3D food printer can create pasta in various shapes. "Guests can just bring their own designs." says van Bommel. "For example, you could surprise your wife with pasta in the shape of a rose for your marriage anniversary. You can simply save your design in a USB and bring it to the restaurant. The 3D food printer there will print it on site."

Barilla is particularly interested in selling dough cartridges with which the pasta layer is built. Just like the current text and photo printers the cartridge business is more commerically interesting than the device itself.


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