A Cambridge, UK-based design company called Dovetailed is developing a 3D fruit printer, unveiling it at the Tech Food Hack event in Cambridge. The machine was developed in partnership with Microsoft Research Cambridge.
The 3D fruit printer is said to utilize "a molecular-gastronomy technique called spherification that combines individual droplets with different flavors into a fruit shape."
The process likely involves combining fruit juice or puree with sodium alginate and dripping the mixture into a bowl of cold calcium chloride. This causes the mixture droplets to form into tiny spheres, which can be mixed from spheres from other fruits. The blended spheres can then be pressed or formed into fruit-like shapes.
The developers claim that the machine can 3D-print existing types of fruit like apples or pears as well as user-invented combined fruits in a matter of seconds, with the taste, texture, size and shape of each fruit completely customizable.