When Star Trek becomes reality: NASA to build ‘universal food synthesizer’

The kitchen of the future could see all our fancy devices – even refrigerators and ovens – replaced by a 3D printer which will create meals from cartridges full of carbohydrates, protein powders and oils.

The concept might sound rather far-fetched today, but NASA has just given 3D printer firm Systems & Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) a six month, $125,000 grant to focus on developing a universal food synthesizer.

The device is similar to the ‘replicator’ used in several of the Star Trek TV series which enabled crew members to create their favorite foods.

NASA is investing in the project because it wants to make it easier to transport nutrients in bulk through space, but SMRC’s founder Anjan Contractor believes the device will ultimately help solve the earth’s looming food crisis.

With the earth’s population one day predicted to reach 12 billion people, the strain on our food sources will become immense.