Star Trek Replicators Closer to Reality Thanks to 3D-Printed Chicken

Columbia University scientists are a step closer to Star Trek’s instant food replicators with their combination 3D-printed and laser-cooked chicken.

Engineers from Columbia University have worked out a way to simultaneously 3D print and cook puréed chicken to bring the techno-magic of Star Trek‘s food replicators one step closer to reality.

In a report from Wired, a team from the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia is credited with taking an earlier idea of theirs — 3D printing edible objects with mediums like cheese and peanut butter — and applying lasers as a cooking element for more nutritious and flavorful foods. Jonathan Blutinger, who co-authored the scientific paper outlining the experimentation, explained the motivation behind expanding on the idea. “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.”


Related: Star

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Raising Cane’s Asks Corporate Staff to Fry Chicken

  • Corporate staff at Raising Cane’s will work as fry cooks and cashiers amid the labor shortage.
  • They will start going into restaurants this week, where they will also recruit extra staff, per Bloomberg.
  • About half of the 500-restaurant chain’s corporate staff will go into restaurants, Bloomberg reported.

A fast-food chain is asking corporate staff to fry chicken and serve customers in its restaurants amid an industry-wide labour shortage, Bloomberg first reported.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, which has more than 500 restaurants and is known for its chicken-finger meals, will send half of its corporate staff into branches across the US this week, Bloomberg reported.

The company wants to hire 10,000 workers over the next 50 days — the corporate staff will also work in recruitment at restaurants, per Bloomberg. 

“It’s no secret that today’s hiring market is a challenge,” co-CEO AJ Kumaran in a statement

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Engineers 3D-Print Chicken and Cook It with Lasers

Fans of the kitchen from The Jetsons and food “replicators” from the Star Trek franchise may soon be able to digitally print dinner — and heat it at the touch of a button. And scientists say they might like it more than the real thing.

Engineers at Columbia University have taken a step toward making those sci-fi meals a reality by creating a single device that can use a 3D printer to assemble food and lasers to cook it.

“Food is something that we all interact with and personalize on a daily basis. It seems only natural to infuse software into our cooking to make meal creation more customizable,” said researcher Jonathan Blutinger.

The Columbia “Digital Food” team, led by mechanical engineering Professor Hod Lipson, has been working on 3D-printed foods for nearly 15 years and is now experimenting with multi-ingredient printing.

3D food printing
3D food printing isn’t entirely new: This device
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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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