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“Everything Sits on a Ritz” – Will 3D Printed Crackers “Spring” onto Marketplace?

March 10, 2015
3d printed crackers

Wish I had been able to print crackers when I worked for Nabisco (Photo Credit:

This story reminded me of my days at Nabisco.  For a few years, I was the Baking Manager there.  Making crackers the “old-fashioned” way could be tough enough, so I can’t  imagine 3D printing them on a large scale, especially not with seeds, spores and yeast inside that could later sprout and grow.  

But that is exactly what Chloe Rutzerveld, a food designer, has achieved and chronicled in a movie that she made…

“Edible growth is exploring how 3D printing could transform the food industry,” she remarked in her documentary. “It is about 3D printing with living organisms, which will develop into a fully grown edible.

A lot of people think industrialised production methods are unnatural or unhealthy,” Rutzerveld remarked. “I want to show that it doesn’t have to be the case. You can really see that it’s natural. It’s actually really healthy and sustainable also at the same time.

Based on my experience, printing the dough pieces wouldn’t be dramatically different than some of the traditional manufacturing processes currently used.  Neither would depositing the edible agar inside the crackers – depositors have been around for decades.  (Agar application, however, would probably need to occur after baking to ensure it survived).  

But how would this additive manufacturing approach work on a commercial scale?  The product shelf life requirement would literally kill the brand – if not its consumers.  At least for now, this is one idea that is best left to home-based printers and bakers.  It certainly brings new meaning to the advertising slogan, “Anything Sits on a Ritz.”  But I have to admit, the pictures remind me of the Chia pets we had growing up as kids.

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