Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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optimizing food assemblies

Maximize properties of food using technological overkill
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Right now it seems like everything is becoming available in "wrap" form. This makes sense, since wraps hold a lot of good stuff inside while using relatively little surface material. Similarly, cinnamon rolls & breakfast cereals have lots of surface area to hold sugar.

I'm ready for over-engineered food like Japanese snacks, but without all of the plastic. By using databases of food properties, a language for expressing relationships & possibly genetic algorithms, we could speed up the search for new shapes that maximize the desirable properties of food.

The goal would be to create a system to find the answer to questions like: "What shape will give me the greatest number of crunchy bits (flavored with chili-garlic) that doesn't look like it was extruded?" And the system comes back with a deep fried potato that's been cut into a hyper-omnihedron. Ideally with the CAD drawing & instructions for the sous-chef robots.

Or you could ask what materials would be appropriate for keeping nori dry while keeping tapioca from dripping.

tenhand, Sep 22 1999

Research Chefs http://www.prepared...03/0003reschefs.htm
"Research chefs have both culinary skills and food technology skills. " [hello_c, Sep 22 1999]

USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 13 http://www.nal.usda...nload/sr13dnld.html
Files for Downloading [LoriZ, Sep 22 1999]


       FEEDmag has a little series of articles about food.   

       food as atomic building blocks: see Dippin' Dots, "ice cream of the future." discrete bites of ice cream in large gumball-sized packets. to create new flavors, you mix a variety of dots together.
reebob, Dec 22 1999

       Z Corporation (www.zcorp.com) is commercializing ``3D printer'' technology that uses a starch/cellulose powder derived from potatoes and corn. A repurposed inkjet deposits ``binder'' liquid. After many layers of powder and binder, you have a complete 3D model.   

       The models so produced are, in fact, edible (they taste horrible, though).   

       They've obviously missed their calling. Instead of using the lame glue/water binder, they should fill the inkjet print heads with various artificial flavors and colors. Then you could create arbitrarily engineered food. Imagine the possibilities!
egnor, Mar 02 2000

       I don't think Japanese snacks are over-engineered. Except for the ramen things.
Vance, Jan 31 2001


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