Picture, if you can, a world in which you can push a button and your dinner appears before you, ready to consume; a time in which a robot or holograph can help with tasks like prepping and cooking food, or cutting out the time it takes to find and prepare healthy food by drinking all the nutrients you need in one quick step. Well, you don’t have to imagine such a world anymore and you no longer have to watch fictional programming set in a futuristic universe to get your fix of advanced trends in the culinary world.

Think back to the imagined twenty-first century setting of the popular 1960’s cartoon, The Jetsons, in which it was a regular occurrence to see machines churn out food pills and breakfast appear on the table simply by pressing a button. These were revolutionary concepts to view on your evening television, but in today’s world, modern technology has given us the ability to dabble in advancements that are slowly changing the way we think about our food, our dining experiences, and even what we should expect from our kitchen appliances.


3D Food Printing

3D printing, the process of creating three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file, is a concept and practice that has been around for several years now. However, growing in popularity is the idea of 3D printing food. In order to execute the printing of food via a 3D printer, one has to start off with food in a semi-solid state. One version of this technology is the ChefJet, which allows users to insert any type of soft confectionary like chocolate, caramel, or frosting for instance, then program the desired shape or design, and finally, sit back and watch their work of art print to life. The ChefJet is specifically geared towards creating sweets, offering amateur bakers the ability to craft works of art in the form of dessert as well as providing the professional pastry chef the ability to build intricate designs in half the time of completing the process manually.

Similarly, the Foodini is a 3D food printer designed to be used for savory foods. Again, one has to begin with a puree of sorts in order for the technology to work, and then the output must either be food that can be eaten raw, or food that will then still need to be cooked. Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of the Foodini, touts the advantages of this product as a way to use fresh, healthy ingredients to create quick meals instead of having to rely on the conveniences of pre-cooked processed foods with unrecognizable ingredients. Occasional home cook Nina Awotwi says that 3D printing food is a concept that sparks her curiosity but not something she can imagine becoming an everyday function for her. There is currently no version of a 3D food printer available on the market that can not only create quick food in any design, but also cook it at the same time, though a project is underway by undergraduate students at the Imperial College London.


Holographic Dining

Imagine being able to conjure up any chef in the world to help you create tonight’s dinner. Or perhaps you are dying to learn how to make an ethnic halal meal straight from the source and you’d love to be able to connect with someone from the Middle East to show you the ropes. Better yet, maybe you have a grandmother who lives across the country making it difficult for you to dine together or cook family recipes with one another. With Dawid Dawod’s concept known as Global Chef, you just might be able to make all three of these scenarios a reality.

The concept uses hologram technology to connect people together through the art of cooking. Global Chef allows users to select family, friends, random people from anywhere in the world, or even join cooking classes via a hologram that is conjured up on its glass surface using Laser Plasma hologram technology. The design even transfers smells and can sense what ingredients are placed into its bowl. The possibilities Global Chef can potentially offer have many people thrilled. Home cook DeMarko Glover says, “To learn from a chef in holographic form would be exciting.” Glover occasionally follows online video tutorials of his favorite chefs when cooking, and because he often stops and rewinds videos to try and get all the steps right he feels as though “having someone right there with you via holograph would be much easier to follow.” Global Chef was submitted to the Electrolux Design Lab for consideration in its annual design competition and may very well be a product we see available in the future.



Would you ever consider cutting out the process of buying and preparing food by solely drinking a liquid food supplement that provides you with all the nutrients you need? If the answer is yes, then there is a product that can do just that; it’s called Soylent.

Created by a software engineer named Rob Rhinehart, Soylent is a powder supplement one mixes with water to create a liquid drink that contains 33 nutritional ingredients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and mineral substitutes. According to Rhinehart, he created the substance to battle the expense and trouble he was experiencing with trying to obtain or cook healthy meals regularly. He also believes it has the potential to help the food crisis in the developing world. However, on the taste scale, it might leave much to be desired as those who have tried Soylent often describe it as bland.

While it does provide you with the nutrients you need to survive, for most people, food is not just about sustenance. Food evokes memories, experiences, joy, and love. . .none of which can be found in Soylent. Awotwi states, “Cooking is more than the actual preparation [of food]. It’s the memories of being with family and friends.” While she feels like there is a certain efficiency that could be gained from this product, it comes at the expense of feeling like one is a part of a community. Still, there are others like food enthusiast Glover who see the convenience and benefits for busy people. “A product like this means you never have to worry about the time it takes to prep food, cook food, and sit and eat food.” Glover feels Soylent would be something he’d use on occasion to save time. Whatever side of the conversation you are on, Soylent definitely seems like the closest thing to getting your meals in a pill, a la the Jetsons. You may, however, have to be willing to sacrifice taste and variety.

While a few of these concepts still need more development before becoming available in the mainstream arena, the excitement and buzz they are creating in the culinary world is very evident. It’s clear that we as a society have come a long way in regards to the possibilities available to us to enhance and supplement our dining and cooking experiences. The concepts presented above are really just the tip of the iceberg, and it might not be too long before we’ll be able to press a button and have our dinner appear before our eyes. One thing’s for certain, we’re not in your mama’s kitchen anymore.

Ronia Abdelrahman was born and raised in Chicago. She is a big fan of coffee, T-shirts with witty sayings, and sad songs. Her “Mean Tweets” have been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!


Nutrition products such as Soylent are complex products incorporating many ingredients. It would be difficult for most consumers to determine the suitability of such products in a halal diet. Halal certification is the best way to be sure such products are acceptable to halal consumers. IFANCA® is certifying many nutritional supplements and our staff of experienced food scientists has the expertise necessary to scrutinize and certify complex products such as this. [IFANCA]