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3D Printed Food
3D Printed Food
Researchers have built a platform that uses 3D printing to create food microstructures that allow food texture and body absorption to be customized.
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Imagine a home appliance that, at the push of a button, turns powdered ingredients into food that meets the individual nutrition requirements of each household member. Although it may seem like something from science fiction, new research aimed at using 3D printing to create customized food could one day make this a reality. 

Researchers from Ewha Woman's University in South Korea recently discussed new research into the potential of 3D printing technology for food production at the 2018 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biologyannual meeting in San Diego.  

They built a platform that uses 3D printing to create food microstructures that allow food texture and body absorption to be customized on a personal level.  The researchers think that one day, people could have cartridges that contain powdered versions of various ingredients that would be put together using 3D printing and cooked according to the user's needs or preferences. 

3D printing of food works much like 3D printing of other materials in that layers of raw material are deposited to build up a final product. In addition to offering customized food options, the ability to 3D print food at home or on an industrial scale could greatly reduce food waste and the cost involved with storage and transportation. It might also help meet the rapidly increasing food needs of a growing world population.  

For the new study, the researchers used a prototype 3D printer to create food with microstructures that replicated the physical properties and nanoscale texture they observed in actual food samples. They also demonstrated that their platform and optimized methods can turn carbohydrate and protein powers into food with microstructures that can be tuned to control food texture and how the food is absorbed by the body. 

They are only in the early stages, but they believe their research will move 3D food printing to the next level.  They are continuing to optimize their 3D print technology to create customized food materials and products that exhibit longer storage times and enhanced functionality in terms of body absorption.  

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