Today I want to tell you about a technology that could change the way we get our food. It’s all about 3D printing food, kind of like printing a figure in 3D, but instead of plastic, edible ingredients are used! But, while it sounds great, there are some challenges that must be overcome in order to use this technology. Researchers at the University of Ottawa have identified several factors that affect the print quality and shape complexity of foods created with additive manufacturing.
Food additive manufacturing is divided into four steps: design, pre-processing, manufacturing, and post-processing. In each of these steps, there are opportunities to create innovative foods, for example by changing the printing patterns or the ingredients used. But it is not as easy as it seems, the mixture used in additive manufacturing has to flow correctly for the printing to be successful. Also, after printing, the food must be processed in a specific way to achieve the desired texture and flavor.
One way to make additive manufacturing more efficient for the food industry is to set up a print path, which is like a series of movements controlled by a computer, this helps ensure that food is printed consistently and of high quality.
Food is essential for our survival, but with the increase in the world’s population and environmental changes, it has become even more important. Therefore, new foods and matrices need to be designed in collaboration with chefs, food scientists and engineers to meet our current needs.
Imagine being able to print your favorite pizza at home! This technology could have a huge impact on how we get our food in the future.