3D food printing – facts and future
3D food printing is a rapidly developing market with huge potential. The article is an overview of the major food components that may be printed now and the components which could be used in near future. Besides, the technologies used for printing are described and key aspects of printing food safety are discussed. Moreover this article makes an attempt at an introductory survey of 3D printers commercially available on the market and future projects in this area. Additionally, advantages of 3D food printing are indicated. Furthermore the main areas where it is expected to be used are presented.
A few years ago the idea of the printed food on demand seemed very distant or even abstract, taken from science fiction films or associated with space missions. However, changes in this area occur very quickly. Nowadays, thanks to 3D printing technology both food and packaging can be printed.
The PERFORMANCE project (Development of Personalised food using Rapid Manufacturing for the nutrition of elderly Consumers) is currently one of the more important initiatives in this respect. It involves development of technologies for 3D printed food and was finalized in October of 2015. The Performance concept requires further development in order to be fully introduced to commercialization, but the products developed during the project will be commercialized as standalone solutions. 3D printed meals are designed for older people who have difficulty swallowing and chewing (1). 15-25% of elderly people suffer from problems with swallowing, which makes it necessary to look for the techniques to adapt the food. Food in the pure or pre-frayed form is a good option, but often does not look too appetizing and attractive. New printed products with a proper con ...