Jun.5, 2013

In the future, we could just press buttons on a 3D food printer to get various food pastes. Dutch researchers in TNO is working on a 3D food printer that can print pureed food so that it looks like 'real' food.

In five years 3D printed food will be served in nursing homes, says researcher Kjeld van Bommel of TNO. TNO is working on a 3D printer that makes pureed food attractive for patients with chewing and swallowing problems.

The goal is to develop a 3D printer that could make a meal in every minute before 2015. In the longer term van Bommel expects that 3D food printer prototype could print much faster and to be widely used in health care industry.

"We are going to print 3D broccoli florets from pureed broccoli." he tells NUtech.nl. Currently people with chewing and swallowing problems could only get some kind of milkshake with pureed food. "To these people the fun of eating is totally away, and some of them are malnourished in the nursing homes." said Van Bommel. Mashed broccoli in the form of broccoli florets would, in his opinion, change it.

Improved quality of life

"These people can get now real food on their plate. With a knife and fork they feel less handicapped. They could eat better and get a better quality of life, "says van Bommel. "It should also be possible that the 3D printers customize meals to meet the specific needs, for example patients who need extra calcium."

TNO's 3D food printer project is funded by the European Union and will run until the end of 2014. Currently TNO is working with "large international food companies to develop 3D food printer", according to van Bommel. The name of the companies are not revealed.

Chocolate

TNO demonstrated food printing using 3D printing methods during a Foodhack event in Eindhoven on Monday: a 3D printer printed out chocolate in 3d shape. The melted chocolate is pressed out from an automatic syringe and after the process, the 3D form is rapidly cooled down using nitrogen.

Van Bommel says the 3D food printer could be an addition to existing 3D printers. He expects more hobbyists in the future will have a 3D food printer in their kitchen. "With an extra module for a few hundred dollars you can make chocolate. Why not?"

 


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afd wrote at 8/20/2013 1:41:57 AM:

asfd

Hans wrote at 6/14/2013 11:36:58 AM:

I remember TNO claiming in Bright (2008) that we would be printing complete mobile smartphones by 2015..

Jeff wrote at 6/7/2013 11:39:47 PM:

jd90, It lets you design the shape you want (not an issue in industrial settings such as a nursing home, but a big deal for custom chocolates or cake decorations). In a nursing home situation, it improves cleanup over cleaning multiple sheets of diffferent molds. Molded food paste has to be cooled / frozen to maintain its shape enough to come out of the mold and be distributed to the persons plate, then warmed if it is to taste like warm food. Printed food can be extruded as a hot paste to shape on each plate - no further handeling or warming needed. It could be automated. Think of a assembly line in the kitchen with either a fast 3d printer with several feed lines, or several printers. A plate moves under the head, the paste is extruded (hot or cold, as needed for each food item) on the plate, then it moves off and the next one moves in.

jazzy wrote at 6/7/2013 11:56:34 AM:

thumbs up..:)

jd90 wrote at 6/7/2013 5:45:36 AM:

OK. What does it do that molding can't?



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