If you have followed my articles over the last year, you will know how much I love the science of food and drink – mostly owing to the fact that I really love science, and I really love eating. As a big fan of carbohydrates in all of their perfectly delicious forms, I was fascinated by the materials science of intricately designed bread presented by Lining Yao, a PhD student at MIT’s Tangible Media Lab, at SciFoo Camp in July 2016.
Yao’s design background and science and engineering knowledge have combined forces to create food that can be inflated to create aesthetically interesting shapes and textures – so called pneumatic food. By either cutting bread dough using a special programmable cutter to slice precise shapes into a dough, or by using different doughs with varying elastic properties together in a specific pattern, Yao and her colleagues are able to produce breads that, when inflated, adopt fascinating shapes and structures.
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