Rutzerveld said her new Edible Growth project, which imagines 3-D printing an elegant yet healthy and natural hors d'oeuvre, is truly “food for thought.”
“[It’s] an example of high-tech but fully natural, healthy, and sustainable food made possible by combining aspects of nature, science, technology and design,” she explained.
The basket shapes will be printed using a gelatin-like, vegan-friendly protein known as agar. As it comes out of the printer, the center will be stuffed with seeds, spores and yeast. After a few days the baskets will sprout a tasty crop of seedlings and mushrooms. It is the consumer’s choice at which stage they choose to eat them, Rutzerveld said.
As the appetizers roll out the printer, Rutzerveld said, it is easy to see the straight lines of technology.
"But as it develops, you can see organic shapes. You can see the stages of growth and the development of taste and flavor," she said.
Right now Edible Growth is just a concept. Rutzerveld said 3-D printing is not sophisticated enough yet to produce something quite so complex. She said it will be some time before printed food moves beyond using anything more complicated than sugar, dough or chocolate.
“It seems as if it's easy,” she told ABC News, “but it's not, actually.”