Science has been steadily working its way through various food groups when it comes to 3D printing. So far, we've got, and even . Now it's time for milk to shine.
A team led by researchers at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) figured out how to 3D-print with milk by turning powdered milk into "ink."
The researchers had a goal of developing a milk printing process that wouldn't require heating the dairy product up and destroying some of its key nutrients. They also wanted to avoid adding stabilizers that would be needed for most colder methods of 3D printing.
The team published a study in RSC Advances on its recipe for milk ink, which involves judiciously mixing powdered milk with water to get the right consistency for making 3D objects at lower temperatures. The researchers tested it out by successfully printing a tiny sofa, a clover leaf, a fortress, a cone and a wheel.
But that's not all. The study also experimented with filling milk objects with syrup and cream. The team tested a combination of milk ink and chocolate ink made with cocoa powder and chocolate syrup, and created an edible two-tone couch.
"This novel yet simple method can be used in formulating various nutritious foods including those served to patients in hospitals for their special dietary needs," lead author Lee Cheng Pau said in a statement from SUTD on Friday.
Considering the reputation of most hospitable food, that could be a serious upgrade.