Natural Machines 3D prints the best tiramisu in the world

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Natural Machines, a Spain-based food 3D printing technology developer, has printed a replica of the world’s best tiramisu.

The heart-shaped dessert won first place in last year’s Tiramisù World Cup (TWC) and has now been faithfully recreated using the company’s proprietary Foodini additive manufacturing system. Working closely with Stefano Serafini, the Italian pastry chef who won the competition, Natural Machines says the 3D printed version accurately mimics the look, feel and taste of its “traditionally made” predecessor.

Supported by the European Union, the new project took place in Treviso, Italy, and was launched when Natural Machines pitched it to TWC organizers last year.

Emilio Sepulveda, co-founder and CEO of Natural Machines, says: “The main objective is to promote tiramisu in the environment of competition and Italian gastronomy, as well as to give it greater reach through printing. 3D.

TWC organizers and chef Serafini (right) with the 3D printed tiramisu. Photo via Natural Machines.

Foodini 3D printer

Undoubtedly the masterpiece of Natural Machines’ product naming department, the Foodini 3D Printer is an extrusion-based system designed to work with virtually any type of fresh, real ingredient. The printer was designed to be a kitchen appliance and is priced at $6,000.

To use the machine, customers simply prepare the food toppings they want, load the mixes into reusable steel capsules, and extrude those mixes from a nozzle to print the final product layer by layer. The 3D printer can accommodate up to five capsules at a time, between which it can switch automatically as needed.

The Foodini can print directly onto any flat surface that fits inside its 257mm (diameter) x 110mm build volume and is suitable for main courses, side dishes, garnishes, personalized cake frostings, etc. Since the system uses real ingredients, creations can be served straight from the build chamber, baked, frozen, and even dehydrated.

Additionally, the system also allows custom printing recipes to be saved to the Foodini Creator app, meaning users can reprint their creations over and over again.

Sepulveda, calling the printer a miniature food factory, said, “Our machine doesn’t change the taste or quality of the ingredients you put in, and you don’t need those ingredients to be special for the machine.”

The Foodini 3D printer.  Photo via Natural Machines.
The Foodini 3D printer. Photo via Natural Machines.

3D printing a world-class dessert

Due to the use of a new production method, Natural Machines and chef Serafini had to conduct a number of experiments to make the 3D printed tiramisu replica a reality. They tried and tested several different recipes, each with their own unique blends and textures.

In the end, the team settled on a special 3D-printable recipe developed by the chef himself, including a newly designed cream, recreating the award-winning tiramisu in all its glory.

Francesco Redi, founder of the Tiramisù World Cup, believes that 3D printing occupies a unique place in the culinary world: “It means that you can create a recipe from any place on earth.”

Although it is very niche, the world of food 3D printing is an active sector within the sphere of additive manufacturing. Recently, Israeli food tech company MeaTech announced the latest step in its quest to develop sustainable cultured meat products using 3D bioprinting technology. Using its own internal process, the company successfully 3D bio-printed a 3.67 oz (104 gram) cultured steak in its lab in Ness Ziona, Israel.

Elsewhere, Japanese precision instrument maker Shimadzu recently announced plans to create a dedicated 3D printing system for meat. Working with Osaka University and consulting firm Sigmaxyz Inc, the company would develop a machine capable of producing large quantities of cultured meat, much like an automated production line.

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Featured image shows the 3D printed tiramisu. Photo via Natural Machines.

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