You might want to plan a trip to Belgium in the near future. It’s not just the land of legendary chocolate. It also houses Dorothee Goffin’s Smart Gastronomy Lab, full of 3-D printers and open to the public one day each week for anyone to come and experiment. Those experiments involve some pretty enticing foods, specifically chocolate.
Her work was recently profiled in an NPR article, A 3-D Food Lab and Restaurant Want to Turn Yuck into Yum, and besides the remarkable shapes and tastes that are emerging from the printers, there are some intriguing health twists. Nutritional boosts are included in the chocolates, such as blue-green algae, but in such small amounts that tasters would never know.
Now the challenge is scaling the production, which will require mastery of the effects of temperature. Once that dimension is tackled, restaurants may pilot some of the dishes and patrons will be asked to fill out feedback forms.
Dr. Goffin may not be Willie Wonka, but she’s got a chocolate factory that’s commanding significant attention with widespread applications in nutrition, marketing, and production.