npj Science of Food (Mar 2023)

The future of software-controlled cooking

  • Jonathan David Blutinger,
  • Christen Cupples Cooper,
  • Shravan Karthik,
  • Alissa Tsai,
  • Noà Samarelli,
  • Erika Storvick,
  • Gabriel Seymour,
  • Elise Liu,
  • Yorán Meijers,
  • Hod Lipson

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 1
pp. 1 – 6


Read online

Abstract To date, analog methods of cooking such as by grills, cooktops, stoves and microwaves have remained the world’s predominant cooking modalities. With the continual evolution of digital technologies, however, laser cooking and 3D food printing may present nutritious, convenient and cost-effective cooking opportunities. Food printing is an application of additive manufacturing that utilizes user-generated models to construct 3D shapes from edible food inks and laser cooking uses high-energy targeted light for high-resolution tailored heating. Using software to combine and cook ingredients allows a chef to more easily control the nutrient content of a meal, which could lead to healthier and more customized meals. With more emphasis on food safety following COVID-19, food prepared with less human handling may lower the risk of foodborne illness and disease transmission. Digital cooking technologies allow an end consumer to take more control of the macro and micro nutrients that they consume on a per meal basis and due to the rapid growth and potential benefits of 3D technology advancements, a 3D printer may become a staple home and industrial cooking device.