Technologies

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Food 3D Printing for Personalized Nutrition

Technology Overview

Multi-material food 3D printing with controlled amounts of each ingredient to create personalized food according to the needs of each individual. The meals and snacks can be personalized based on nutritional needs as well as gut microbiome requirements.

Less personalized (only based on simple questionnaire) 3D printed food can be packaged and sold to the public in collaboration with local food and supplement manufacturers selling packaged meals. Highly personalized (full medical workup) 3D printed food is to be used by hospitals and care facilities to optimize the health of patients reducing the risk of medical complications and overall cost of care.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The key feature advancements are in 3 categories:

  1. Hardware:
    • Industrial design food 3D printer with a single actuator switching between different materials for a larger material selection capacity with the same footprint.
    • Easily removable bed plate for automation during large scale production.
  2. Software: Catalogue to design personalized meal configurations and interface for personalized selection. (In development)
  3. Food Science: Customised food paste recipes optimised for 3D printing performance and nutritional content. (In development)

The feature advancements mentioned here are improvements over the state of the art in food 3D printing. Food 3D printing is still largely focused on aesthetics. Nutrition and personalization are limited to gummies and tablet size supplements in 3D printing. Instead of going for high resolution and time-consuming prints, the company make full size meals in 5-10min of print time with lower resolution. There is more emphasis on the meal configuration and overall nutritional content.

Potential Applications

Food 3D printing is very versatile. The same hardware and software can be used to print thousands of different meal configurations, shapes and nutritional profiles by uploading new designs. Thus, the same machine can produce food for:

  1. Personalised clinical nutrition for hospitals and care facilities.
  2. Visually appealing and nutritionally balanced meals for restaurants, caterers, hotels and food manufacturers producing packaged food.
  3. Healthy food in fun shapes for kids for schools and childcare centers.
  4. Personalized meals for sports nutrition and many more.

Apart from regular food, the same underlying technology can also be used for printing alternative meats. Plant based meat companies can focus on food chemistry and flavor and use our machine to print the meat configuration.

Customer Benefits

Business Opportunities

There are different business opportunities for different clients from independent market segments:

  1. Hospitals and care facilities: opportunity to offer personalised nutrition to optimise health and reduce overall healthcare costs
  2. Schools and childcare centers:
    • Healthy snacks for kids. Getting fussy kids to eat healthy ingredients.
    • Nutritional educational program integrating food 3D printing for personalised nutrition into the curriculum as a course touching on learnings from all aspects of STEAM: Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics
  3. Hotels: Opportunity to offer personalised nutrition meals for the entire length of stay
  4. Restaurants: Opportunity to add an additional revenue stream with 3D printed nutritionally balanced meals and snacks.
  5. Caterers:
    • Making food in unique configurations for one off events with specific themes
    • Offering personalised meal program for home delivery
  6. Food manufacturers: Opportunity to offer a line of personalized packaged meals.

Other benefits

Food 3D printing requires food to be in paste form which is continuous. Thus, more of the food can be used and with scale, overall food waste can be reduced.

The largest obstacle to eating healthy is not finding the information as there are several apps, services, and dieticians available but finding the right ingredients, doing the measurements and preparing the food the right way. Automating with food 3D printing, personalised nutrition and having balanced diets are made accessible to a lot more people.

Optimal diets lead to healthier (less medical leave and expenses), leading to increased productivity.

OVERVIEW
Contact Person

Anirudh Agarwal

Organisation

Singapore National Biofilm Consortium

Technology Category

  • Foods
  • Healthcare
  • Life Sciences
  • Personal Care
  • Nutrition & Health Supplements

Technology Readiness Level

Keywords

personalized nutrition, 3D printing