World's first 3D printing restaurant opens

The world's first 3D printing restaurant opens in London with the promise of a future in which you can download your dessert or have pizza delivered by e-mail.

LONDON (REUTERS) - 3D printing is transforming medicine, fashion and manufacturing.

But you may not have expected it to land on your plate.

The "ink" used for tonight's guests - potato, avocado, chocolate and passion fruit paste printed layer by layer to create individually calibrated dishes at the click of a mouse.

It's fun - but it will put you back £250 (S$443).

Company founder Antony Dobrzensky says insists the concept of printing food isn't just a passing gimmick.

"3D printing as applied to food, and for that matter, 3D printing applied to manufacturing processes, is just the next step in this constant evolution. It's the logical next step in terms of convenience, efficiency, sophistication, and even doing things that couldn't quite be possible with the human hand are possible with your imagination"

Other companies also working on printed food - from sweets in Berlin to NASA supporting research to develop 3D food machines for astronauts.

Experts say it could be a way to feed a global population expected to reach 12 billion by the end of the century, as it provides quick, hot food with zero waste and personalised nutritional content.

"We can get all the nutrition in there, all the vitamins, all the minerals, omegas, protein whatever you need - instead of overcooked food which has been processed, put in a blender for example" said Nina  Hoff, CEO of byFlow.

Perhaps a vision for the future - a 3D printer in every home between the microwave and the toaster.

Pizza delivered by email. Downloading dessert.

But the food wont feel or taste conventional either, and that might take longer for food lovers to ingest.