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3D printing fresh ingredients or future food choices

Apr 15 , 2021

With the maturity of 3D printing technology, 3D printing food has also received more attention.

Recently, researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Hodpu Hospital (KTPH) said that they have developed a new method of using fresh and frozen vegetables to make "food ink" in 3D. Print food, and this method can preserve the nutrition and flavor of vegetables better than existing methods.

Chen Gen: 3D printing fresh ingredients, future food choices

Generally, food ink is a liquid or semi-solid form made from purified food, which is 3D printed by extruding from a nozzle and assembled layer by layer. Usually in medical settings, puree foods are provided to patients who suffer from swallowing problems. In the medical environment, silicone molds are often used to shape the shape of jelly foods to make the food look more appetizing.

Although 3D food printing means that food can easily produce the desired shape and texture in a shorter time, dehydrated food and freeze-dried powder used as food ink usually contain a high percentage of food additives, such as hydrocolloids (HCs). ) To stabilize the ink and make the printing process smoother.

High concentrations of hydrocolloids usually change the taste, texture and aroma of printed food, making it unattractive to patients with dysphagia. This can lead to reduced food consumption and malnutrition in patients.

To overcome this challenge, the research team explored various combinations of fresh and frozen vegetables to keep the food stable. Now, they can not only better preserve the nutrition of printed food, but also make it more delicious. This new method of making food ink should increase the patient's dietary consumption and make a positive contribution to their physical health and mental state.

Researchers believe that this technology helps to provide adequate, nutritious and safe diets for patients with dysphagia, and it can be easily used in hospitals, nursing homes, and day care centers for the elderly with dysphagia and other swallowing disorders.

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