3D Printing Food

3D printed food and how technology has evolved

What is 3D printed food?

Technology has stepped up the game and we have entered the sci-fi world in reality where 3D printed food has been introduced to us. 

You must be wondering how we print food in 3D texture. 

3D printed foods are a variety of food products that are manufactured by various compound additives and building methods. They make use of 3D food printers that comprise food grade syringes that hold the raw materials and deposit the food in layers by a nozzle. The latest versions of the printer are pre-loaded with recipes. They allow the designers to create and customize their food through  mobiles or computers. The food can vary in colors, textures, flavors and even nutrition according to the requirements of the designer. You may also Know: Religion Uses Technology To Influence and Control

Evolution of technology

The introduction of 3D printed food proves that technology has immensely evolved in all these years and changed the course of the food industry. The inception of technology in the food industry dates back as far as the use of tractors in agriculture. It further evolved with the launch of biotechnology and computer technology. 

Today, 3D printed food is a novel concept, no more confined to the world of sci-fi movies and fantasies. It is already being implemented in the food and healthcare industry and is expected to grow exponentially by 2024. 

 It has not only opened vistas to new innovations but can also deal with the food crisis the world is going through. According to a report analysis from ING, technology helps to produce food more efficiently for increasing world population. The evolution of technology in the food industry means there will be improvised food production and packaging to deal with the current circumstances.

Working of 3D printed food

The 3D food printing technique involves three types of printing which are as follows:

  • Extrusion-based printing

This is a type of 3D printing that extrudes food materials through a heated nozzle with constant pressure layer by layer to create a 3D part. The food materials are usually soft, with a consistency of paste but with low viscosity. 

These materials include:

Mashed potatoes, cheese, jelly, dough, puree, melted chocolates and frosting.  

  • Binder jetting

Binder jetting makes use of powdered form ingredients and partially arranges it into multiple layers to create a 3D food structure. 

The powdered ingredients include:

Flour, baking powder, chocolate powder and sugar. 

  • Inkjet printing:

Inkjet printing deposits a stream of edible material droplets from a thermal head or piezoelectric heads onto the surface. 

This technique is usually used in decorations and of the foods such as:

Candies, cookies, pastries and cakes.

Benefits of 3D printed food

3D printed food comes with its own package of benefits such as:

  • It allows you to customize your food by experimenting with new colours, shapes,  flavors and ingredients.
  • With 3D food printing you can create your own culinary art at a much cheaper rate. 
  • You can plan your diet and add ingredients according to your diet plans and fulfill your nutritional needs. 
  • It mitigates the food wastage and also increases food sustainability. 

 Applications of 3D food printing:

Many industries have already invested in this technology and are eager to work on it.

NASA has collaborated with a Texas company to use 3D food printing technique to increase safety of eating and storage of food in space. 

Hershey’s is also utilizing 3D printing for designing candies. 

A restaurant in Japan, Sushi Singularity has also launched 3D-printed sushi. 

Looking forward, we can anticipate 3D printing food to bring a digital revolution in our food industry and even become a part of our kitchen.