It sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, but a Dutch design company has invented a snack that produces its own filling

By now, you’ll have heard of 3D food-printing, right? But it has one big drawback: food printing only creates dishes out of ingredients that can be reduced to a paste. Basically, it rules out anything growing.


Until now.


The Edible Growth project has invented a snack that makes its own filling: it's a fancy 3D-printed pastry that grows a subtle mushroom and herb centre. A futuristic mushroom vol-au-vent, if you will.


It's the brainchild of Dutch concept designer Chloé Rutzerveld, who wanted to show that lab-produced food isn’t just about "unhealthy and unnatural" products. “Edible Growth is an example of high-tech but fully natural, healthy and sustainable food made possible by combining aspects of nature, science, technology and design,” she says.


The snack has a sort of pastry shell (Rutzerveld's prototype used insect flour, but a pizza crust-type dough is now used) which contains seeds, yeast and spores. Within days the shell is filled with tiny mushrooms and green herbs and is ready to munch on.


Rutzerveld added: “Within five days the plants and fungi mature and the yeast ferments the solid inside into a liquid.


“Just like Roquefort cheese, the intensity of its taste, smell and whole eating experience increases over time.

“If we could produce our food this way, you can imagine that the food supply chain would shrink immensely.”

Disgusting or delicious – would you pop one of these in your lunchbox? Let us know in the comments below ...