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Conceptual illustration of a digital cooking system with dozens of components and a exact cooking laser to compose and cook dinner meals utilizing digital recipes. Picture credit score: Jonathan Blutinger / Columbia Engineering

Columbia engineers invent software-controlled robotic lasers that cook dinner meals with unprecedented precision, retain extra moisture and create a totally new, personalized manner of getting ready a scrumptious meal.

Think about having your personal digital private chef; able to cook dinner no matter you need; capable of tailor the form, texture and style only for you; and all on the push of a button. Columbia engineers labored on it precisely, utilizing lasers to cook dinner and 3D printing expertise to place meals collectively.

Underneath the path of mechanical engineering professor Hod Lipson, the “Digital Meals” group at its Artistic Machines Lab has constructed a totally autonomous digital private chef. Lipson’s group has been growing 3D printed meals since 2007. Since then, meals printing has developed into multi-component printing and has been explored by researchers and a few business firms.

“We discovered that printers can produce components with millimeter precision, however there is no such thing as a heating technique with this decision,” mentioned Jonathan Blutinger, a PhD in Lipson’s lab who led the challenge. “Cooking is important to the event of vitamin, style and texture in lots of meals, and we puzzled if we might develop a laser technique to exactly management these properties.”

Rooster is cooked by a blue laser. The sunshine is directed by two software-controlled mirror galvanometers. Picture credit score: Jonathan Blutinger / Columbia Engineering

In a brand new examine printed by npj Science of Meals, the group examined totally different modalities of cooking by exposing chickens to blue gentle (445 nm) and infrared gentle (980 nm and 10.6 µm), which they used as a mannequin meals system. They printed rooster samples (3mm thick on an space of ​​~ 1 in2) as a check mattress and assessed plenty of parameters together with cooking depth, coloration improvement, moisture retention, and variations in style between laser-cooked and oven-cooked meat. They discovered that laser-cooked meat shrinks 50% much less, retains twice the moisture content material and develops a style just like that of conventionally cooked meat.

“The truth is, our two blind style testers most well-liked laser-cooked meat to conventionally cooked samples, which is encouraging for this burgeoning expertise,” mentioned Blutinger.

Whereas Lipson and Blutinger are excited in regards to the capabilities of this new expertise, the {hardware} and software program elements of that are fairly technical, they discover that there’s nonetheless no sustainable ecosystem to assist it. Says Lipson, “What we nonetheless do not have is what we name ‘Meals CAD’, a sort of Photoshop of meals. We’d like high-level software program that permits people who find themselves not programmers or software program builders to design the meals they need. After which we want a spot the place folks can share digital recipes, identical to we share music. “

However, says Blutinger, “meals is one thing all of us work together with and personalize every day – it solely appears pure to combine software program into our kitchen to make the creation of meals extra particular person.”

Reference: “Precision cooking for printed meals with multi-wavelength lasers” by Jonathan David Blutinger, Alissa Tsai, Erika Storvick, Gabriel Seymour, Elise Liu, Noà Samarelli, Shravan Karthik, Yorán Meijers and Hod Lipson, September 1, 2021, npj Science of Meals .
DOI: 10.1038 / s41538-021-00107-1

Authors are: Jonathan Blutinger, Alissa Tsai, Erika Storvick, Gabriel Seymour, Elise Liu, Noà Samarelli, Shravan Karthik, Yorán Meijers and Hod Lipson, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Laptop Science, Columbia Engineering.

This work was supported partly by

Columbia College
Columbia College is a personal Ivy League analysis college in New York Metropolis based in 1754. This makes it the oldest faculty in New York and the fifth oldest in the US. It’s typically referred to only as Columbia, however its official title is Columbia College within the metropolis of New York.

“> Columbia College‘s SEAS Interdisciplinary Analysis Seed (SIRS) funding program and from the NSF NRI Award # 1925157.

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