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Future hamburgers are here, printed and cooked by robots

Plant-based hamburger, 3D printed and cooked by a robot at a restaurant in Herzliya, Israel, on December 28th, 2021. Image credit: Reuters, SavorEat

I already posted news on artificial meat (both artificially grown and produced from plants) as well as news on robo-cooks preparing (simple) food in some restaurants around the world (with China, Japan and US having the lead).

Now I see a news of a restaurant in Israel that just last week, December 28th 2021, started to serve veggie hamburger that are printed to order and cooked by a robot.

An Israeli foodtech company, SavourEat, has provided a 3D printer to a restaurant in Herzliya, Israel, so that customers can design their own veggie hamburger selecting how much fat and protein they want in their burger. Once selected the burger is printed and then cooked by a robo-cook. The whole process takes some 6 minutes from order to the plate.

The 3D printer is fed with veggie food “ink” containing chickpea, pea and potatoes derived proteins. These are combined in various ways delivering a broad variety of tastes. There is a growing market for veggie based food, (alternative protein start ups have harvested some 3B$ in funding last year in the US) and a growing segment of restaurant goers are interested in a diet that is strongly based on vegetable without forfeiting the meat completely. They even got a name: flexiterians (flexible-vegetarians).

According to some (not well identified…. study) the flexitarian diet comes up second in terms of wealthy diet, just after the Mediterranean diet. So, for me that grew up on the Mediterranean diet is not yet time to change my food habits. Yet, I like to sit back and watch these culinary innovations as I wait for my spaghetti to cook “al dente!”.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.