3D Food Printing Desserts To Hospital Meals

3D food printing is a unique method of preparing nutritional customized food. Scientists at Singapore University of Technology and Design have developed a new method that can print milk-based products at room temperature using direct ink writing.

A new study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry shows that one of the challenges faced by milk-based 3D printing products is maintaining the temperature sensitivity of certain nutrients.

3D printing can be traced back to the 1980s, when Chuck Hull originally developed the technology for manufacturing industrial parts. Finally, the first batch of 3D printers was used to print objects made of materials such as ceramics, metals, or synthetic resins.

Later, for bioprinting purposes, the same technology was used, such as creating multiple layers of cells to create tissue. Organoids or stem cells made by bioengineering can also be printed with a 3D printer. These stem cells can be processed by bioengineering to form tissues that form organoid parts.

3D food printing

3D printing is also very useful in printing food, for example, NASA hired engineers to develop pizza printers for astronauts. A company called Foodini even developed a 3D printer for homeowners and the food industry, where users can fill stainless steel food capsules with fresh ingredients. The 3D printer can design anything, including fruits, vegetables, and raw meat (which needs to be cooked later).

3D food printing has also been developed into a variety of methods, such as hot-melt extrusion and selective laser sintering. Selective laser sintering refers to the situation when the laser melts and melts the powder particles. On the other hand, extrusion methods are commonly used for liquid-based foods and temperature-sensitive foods (such as chocolate). Due to temperature-sensitive nutrients such as protein and calcium, not all foods (such as milk) are compatible with these hotter methods.

There is also a cold extrusion method at high temperature, but this means adding modifiers or additives to the food to print a stable structure. These additions will make the process more complicated.

Make milk ink

The team used commercially available milk powder without additives and initially made a paste called formula milk ink at room temperature. The team’s experiment compared milk inks with various powder and deionized water ratios at different viscosities to find a suitable formula ink. They also used cold extrusion to compare printable latex inks with previous dairy products and additives such as xanthan gum or glycerin.

They also demonstrated how to use this new method to print several dairy products and apply it to other edible inks, such as chocolate ink using chocolate syrup. In summary, the authors write that their findings “prove a simple way to change the rheology of food inks.

“This novel yet simple method can be used in formulating various nutritious foods, including those served to patients in hospitals for their special dietary needs,” said Lee Cheng Pau. Using a cold-extrusion method did not compromise the milk’s temperature-sensitive nutrients and offered “vast potential in 3D printing of aesthetically pleasing, nutritionally controlled foods customized for individual requirements,” said Michinao Hashimoto.

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