What it is
What do you think our food will look like in the future? Designer and Founder of ‘Neo Fruit’, Meydan Levy thought of this question as well. She came up with a future scenario in which all our food is made artificially. With this thought in mind, she designed ‘Neo Fruit’. ‘Neo Fruit’ is the generic name of 5 different types of artificially designed fruit. The fruit is produced by 4D printers which uses the organic material cellulose for its production.
Food has changed a lot throughout human history. In ancient times, people collected all the food that they could find in nature. When the agricultural revolution broke out, people became less dependent on the search for food. Food production could be more regulated. When Industrial processes came up, the composition of food changed. Meydan Levy said the following about this:
‘The damage that industrialized food has brought us has reached a point that the gap between the nutritional need of what our bodies require and the food that enters our digestive tract is leading to growing awareness for the need of an urgent shift in the paradigm.’ (Levy, z.d.)
This is one of the reasons why Meydan Levy came up with her 4D printed Fruit concept. Meydan Levy is graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel. On Meydan Levy her own website she writes: ‘This project can be considered as a Speculative Technological Design Project, focusing our attention to a future scenario in which we will create all our food artificially.’ (Levy, n.d.) This means that ‘Neo Fruit’ is not (yet) on the market. You may ask yourself can I eat this? The movie below shows that the fruit is ready for consumption. For example, the second fruit below with the blue background, are small pods strung together. You need to crack it open and scrape the contents out with your teeth. (Hahn, 2019)
Why it’s ‘cool’
‘Neo Fruit’ was found through the ‘coolhunting’ technic. When you are coolhunting you are looking for ‘Cool stuff’. ‘Cool’ means attractive, inspiring and that it has a future growth potential. ‘Neo Fruit’ is founded because they won Core77 Design Awards 2019. (“Neo Fruit. — by Meydan Levy. / Core77 Design Awards”, z.d.)
· You can eat fruit as a small snack. It’s interesting to see why the designer chose fruit for this project and not something bigger like an evening meal. The designer of ‘Neo Fruit’ said the following about this: ‘I have chosen to focus on the world of fruit. Which was the earliest human compatible food and the main ingredient in humanity’s nutritional resource.’ So, maybe ‘Neo fruit’ doesn’t give us a big meal that steals our hunger, but it’s healthy and takes us back to the origin. Fruit also shows us a collaboration between man and nature. Fruit can evoke emotions and shows us in a natural way whether you can eat it or not.
· The product is produced flat, they print a flat shell made of cellulose and fill it with nutrient-rich liquids. This way the printing space is used efficiently. It makes it easy to transport in the future. Besides this, all types of fruit come to life when they are filled with the liquated. From this moment on, the fruit can be eaten. All different Neo fruits have their own type of texture, smell, taste and color, so something different for each type of person. (Levy, n.d.)
· ‘Neo fruit’ is also inspiring and attractive, because it can be a solution for the problem of malnutrition. ‘Neo fruit’ are filled with vitamins and Antioxidization which are the most easily digestible types of food.
‘Malnutrition is a complex problem to solve but, as levels of undernutrition and obesity rise, something must be done, says leading food health expert Dr Francesco Branca.’ (World Health Organisation, 2019)
Why it has future growth potential
We live in a world with more than 7 billon people, where malnutrition is a big problem. How long can we provide all this people with food? Modern agriculture wanted to solve ‘this problem’. They have partially succeeded in this by taking up more land and using genetic modification. The disadvantage of these methods is that it is expensive or takes up land that could be used for residential purposes. A lot of food is also thrown away, because they don’t meet the aesthetic standards created by genetic modification.
Nutrition supplements are the next step towards a solution for malnutrition. However, these are either produced as powders or as capsules. This ensures that the connection between the form and content is lost. It no longer gives you the already existing ‘food experience’ that people know. That’s where ‘Neo Fruit’ can step in and can improve the quality of life.
‘Neo fruits intends to fill this gap, offering a food of the future that considers shape and content as critical for the eating experience.’ (Levy, z.d.)