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Inventor displays 3D food printer at SXSW Eco

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TWC News: Inventor displays 3D food printer at SXSW Eco
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SXSW Eco is all about bringing together creative people from different green industries.

"In making these creative relationships, they can really drive solutions and change going forward," Scott Wilcox, the convention director, said.

But one of the coolest solutions at the convention didn't come from a business relationship or a collaborative process. It was a Valentine’s Day gift.

"The first one is dough cartridge, the second is tomato cartridge, and the third is cheese cartridge," Amajan Contractor, an inventor, said.

It's a 3D food printer that Contractor originally designed to make a chocolate valentine for his wife. Now, it has a new mission.

"NASA has funded this project and the first application is for long-distance space trips,” Contractor said. “Along with developing the printer for NASA we are also considering commercializing this product."

In five to 10 years, Contractor thinks this technology could be used in the home to provide the exact nutrients families need.

"Let's say someone is an athlete in the family and they need more protein, we can design recipes for them and print out more protein-nutritious food for that individual and at the same time say someone is pregnant and requiring more iron, we can bring more iron-enriched food," Contractor said.

The recipe is nothing more than some dough, Heinz ketchup and cream cheese. It's completely edible, but it can’t be consumed yet because it’s an ongoing NASA project and the FDA hasn't approved it.

"If somebody eats this and goes through trouble, the whole project can be canned,” Contractor said. “So, we have to be careful."

The risk isn't high, but the payout could be incalculable.

"This is something that can supply food for 12 billion people or 12 billion plus when we grow that much."

The exhibit hall is free and open to the public. SXSW Eco runs through Wednesday.

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