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Hershey's Wants To 3-D-Print Chocolate

The company says it wants to embrace new technologies and keep its eye on the future.

[Image: Flickr user mhiguera]

Hershey's has partnered with a 3-D printing company to make headway in chocolate innovation. The chocolate maker announced Thursday it was entering a multi-year agreement with 3D Systems to produce confectionary treats leveraging 3D Systems' technology, which includes two new sugar and chocolate printers unveiled at CES earlier this month.

"We believe that innovation is key to delivering relevant, compelling consumer experiences with our iconic brands," William Papa, Hershey's vice president and chief R&D officer, said in a statement. "Whether it's creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3-D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future."

The idea of 3-D printing food has been around for a while. Cornell University has explored the concept for several years, developing machines that it hopes will be adopted by restaurants and home chefs. NASA has also spent $125,000 funding a 3-D pizza printer that could potentially be used to prepare space food. And for fans of Mexican food, an entrepreneur has also developed a prototype to 3-D print burritos—now to combine that with the Tacocopter drone delivery service.