‘Pop-Up’ Pastas to Make Your Dining Experience More Fun

‘Pop-Up’ Pastas to Make Your Dining Experience More Fun

Have you ever wondered what our food would look like in the future? Well, you wouldnt have to wait for too long to find the answer. MIT scientists have developed pop-up foods-flat sheets of edible pastas that sprout into 3D structures when submerged in water, an extremely innovative and advance mechanism that will make your dining experience all the more fun and interactive. The edible origami consists of starch and flat sheets of gelatine that, when submerged in water, instantly sprout into 3D structures, including common pasta shapes like penne, macaroni, spaghetti, ravioli, rotini, et al. Interestingly, these edible films can also be engineered to fold into a shape of a flower as well as other unconventional configurations. If this is not the future, then what is? Read on to know more of this science on these new shape-shifting noodles.


Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US have created these flat discs that wrap around beads of caviar, as well as spaghetti that spontaneously divides into smaller noodles when soaked into hot broth. According to the researchers, the shape-shifting creations are not only considered art, but also a practical way to reduce food-shipping costs. For example, the edible films could be stacked together and shipped to consumers, then morph them into their final shape later, when immersed in water. “We did some simple calculations, such as for macaroni pasta, and even if you pack it perfectly, you still will end up with 67 percent of the volume as air,” said Wen Wang, a research scientist at MIT. “We thought maybe in the future our shape-changing food could be packed flat and save space,” said Wang.

pastainstantly pasta into 3D structures

Researchers created a number of different shapes from the gelatine films, from macaroni- and rigatoni-like configurations, to shapes that resembled flowers and horse saddles. To feed the curiosity as to how their designs will be implemented in a professional kitchen, the team showed their engineered edibles to the head chef of a high-end restaurant in Boston. The scientists and chef struck up collaboration, during which they designed two culinary creations. The created transparent discs of gelatine flavoured with plankton and squid ink, that instantly wrap around small beads of caviar. They also long fettuccini-like strips, made from two gelatines that melt at different temperatures, causing the noodles to spontaneously divide when hot broth melts away certain sections.


These edible films certainly are a futuristic approach in the world of food industry. Food technology is growing bigger and better with every passing year. It wont be long before we see a complete makeover of the food industry in the near future.



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