Nestle, the world’s leading nutrition, health, and wellness company, is planning to build a real-life version of the Star Trek Replicator, a machine in the TV show that automatically creates food for the Star Trek Enterprise crew.
Nestle’s research department, the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), has created a program called Iron Man. Fifteen scientists are investigating the links between dietary deficiencies such as cancer and diabetes.
“Iron Man is an analysis of what's missing in our diets, and a product, tailored to you, to help make up that difference,” NIHS director Ed Baetge, told Bloomberg. “In the past, food was just food. We're going in a new direction.”
Most of the world’s population suffer from deficiency in at least one essential vitamin or mineral. NIHS scientists believe that everyone can benefit from a nutrient profile, which would contain information about an individual’s deficiencies or excesses.
The Iron Man program aims to scan a person’s body to discover nutritional needs and offer supplements to fit those needs, possibly served up by a machine much like its Nespresso coffee maker.
Baetge stated that a working model is decades away, but he expects it will resemble the replicator.
“Out comes your food at the press of a button. If we do this right, it can be the next microwave in your kitchen.”