Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology deal not only with developments in the field of robotics and electronics, but also in the field of modernization of the food industry. Not so long ago, during the conference of the Association for Computer Science in Denver, they introduced a new type of paste that can be "programmed" in such a way that, when it enters the water, the product will be able to take any shape.
From the specially processed flat workpiece, it is possible to obtain a paste in the form of bagels, spirals, shells and in general of any shape. In fact, strange at first glance, the invention has great prospects. After all, now about 67% of the packaging in the paste takes up air, and the use of variable pasta will reduce the cost of packaging, shipping and manufacturing costs, because for each form will not need a separate production line.
The basis of the variable paste is two layers of gelatin with different densities – a denser layer absorbs more moisture and more flexes. Over gelatin, strips of cellulose are applied, which does not absorb moisture at all. Depending on the location of all the layers relative to each other, as well as the shape of the workpiece, when processing with water, the shape of the finished product can be very different. Moreover, the changeability of the form can also be used to prepare special dishes. As an example, the authors suggest placing rectangular sheets of paste in a dish of water on the surface of which floats caviar (or any other ingredient). During the folding process, the paste "wraps" the caviar and you get something like cannelloni – pasta with a filling inside. The authors released a whole demonstration video devoted to their technology, and also published a step-by-step instruction on the self-manufacturing of a new type of paste:
- Prepare an edible gelatin gel.
- Add food colorings or flavor additives (squid ink, seaweed, etc.), if necessary.
- Dry the gelatin film with a stream of air. Even a hairdryer will do, but it takes about 12 hours.
- Apply a solution of cellulose to the dried gel with a 3D printer
- Cut an almost ready paste into shapes of the desired shape.
- Immerse the paste in water, heated to 30 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes.