In 2015, we found ourselves face-to-face with a 1973 Chateau Montelena, a $10,000+ bottle of wine that permanently changed the wine industry and legitimized wines from the New World. That bottle was hopelessly out of our reach, but what if we could recreate it, molecule by molecule? Certainly, it should taste the same. And while the replica might not bring as much pleasure to our egos as drinking a $10,000 bottle of wine, it should bring pleasure to our palates.
This is what the future of foods looks like: food will be scanned and printed as easily as photographs today. These digital recreations will be identical chemical copies of the originals, capturing the same nutritional values, flavors, and textures of their “natural” counterparts. Part scientists and part artists, our canvas will be macronutrients like starches and proteins; our pixels will be flavor molecules.
Wine is just the beginning, though. Soon, we hope to build more food products molecule by molecule. With our groundwork, the Star Trek future of food might be closer than we thought.