Wake Up And Smell The Pancakes

The day is coming when you'll be able to program a machine to have freshly made pancakes when you stumble out of bed. The Los Angeles Times reports scientists are making progress on 3D food printing machines. The printers work by spitting out liquified materials and building up the product in layers.

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DAVID GREENE, host:

Our last word in business today is cutting-edge cuisine.

Do you ever wish you could make a burger with built-in liquid layers of ketchup and mustard, Steve?

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

No. No. But go ahead, it sounds intriguing.

GREENE: Okay, we'll give it a chance. What about a muffin with a message written into the batter? I mean like, will you marry me? Or, this isn't working out.

(Soundbite of laughter)

INSKEEP: I'm sorry, David, I'm already married. But go on. Go on. The possibilities...

GREENE: Are endless.

INSKEEP: Yeah.

GREENE: They're just endless.

INSKEEP: The magazine Fast Company details the latest developments in 3D food printing. 3D printing is a technology already used by industrial designers to create models for cars, for example. The machines shape liquified materials and create objects or food layer by layer from the base up.

GREENE: I think chefs everywhere are cringing. But at Cornell University, scientists have teamed up with the French Culinary Institute, so some chefs are not cringing, and they've created new foods using these printers.

One recent dish that came out of a 3D printer was a scallop nugget that's shaped like the space shuttle. And there are also cakes with messages inside that are revealed when you cut into the cake.

According to Fast Company, there's even a tech start-up in New York that is planning to sell 3D food printers to consumers, so you can create high-tech meals in your home.

The initial retail price is a thousand dollars.

INSKEEP: Hope it also prints money then.

GREENE: And so do I. What a delicious way to end the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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