Engineers Cook 3D-Printed Chicken With Lasers

Cooked chicken and the laser light that does the job.

If you’re tired of cooking chicken that comes out rubbery or still raw, there may be a new solution for you. A team of researchers at Columbia University recently demonstrated that several different types of lasers can be used to cook 3D-printed chicken thoroughly, with no adverse effects on the food’s taste.

The findings are the latest step in the lab’s progress toward digitizing the cooking process. The team cooked chicken right on a tabletop—no need for a conventional oven or stove. Their results were published this month in the journal npj Science of Food.

“Cooking is essential for nutrition, flavor, and texture development in many foods, and we wondered if we could develop a method with lasers to precisely control these attributes,” said Jonathan Blutinger, an engineer at Columbia University and the paper’s lead author, in a university press release.

After blending chicken into a purée and

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Food Scholar, Folk Singer, Blunt Speaker: The Many Lives of Leni Sorensen

CROZET, Va. — You pick up a lot of skills after 79 years of being Leni Sorensen, perhaps America’s most unsung food historian.

She can spin wool, butcher hogs and can venison. If she had to, she could make money sewing clothes or selling tamales. She can sing, too. Her contralto voice landed her a spot as the only Black member of the Womenfolk, a quintet whose cover of the suburban satire “Little Boxes” spent three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1964.

Dr. Sorensen can also talk. And talk. I learned this after pulling off the blacktop into her five-acre homestead here in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Va. Over glasses of cold tea she made by poking hibiscus flowers and herbal tea bags into a bottle of supermarket seltzer, an afternoon visit stretched into the evening. One story led to the next, each a

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