Interestingly, an individual's dietary requirements can be tightly controlled - in the future of Mars colonization, this could prove to be very useful. Colonists' food could be easily fortified with vitamins or minerals they are lacking. One could imagine medicines being added to foodstuffs via computer commands. Once you strip down food into its barest of components, our future Mars colonists could keep very close tabs on their calorie intake and general health.
In an interview with Quartz, Contractor outlined his vision of eliminating food waste - the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30-years. For long-duration spaceflight, this would be a huge advantage.
"Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life," he said. "The way we are working on it is, all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years."
ANALYSIS: Domino's Pizza Moon Plan is All Topping, No Base
With his NASA Small Business Innovation Research program grant, Contractor will build a "pizza printer." Although that may not sound very appetizing, pizza is an obvious choice for a first 3-D printed food as it can be layered with ingredients. The first layer, the dough, will be printed onto a hot plate that will immediately bake the base of the pizza. Then, powdered tomato puree will be mixed with oil and layered over the top. A layer of protein will also be added.