WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT 3D FOOD PRINTING

By Isaiah Ogunrinola:

3D Printing Technology is making waves, breaking new grounds and raising the bars all over the world. This happened since the first invention on 3D Printing was made in the 1970s. Today, all the major sectors including education, engineering, architecture, and even the fashion industries are tapping into the world of 3D Technology. 

In the education sector, 3D printer is particularly a powerful teaching tool in classrooms for students in various courses such as physics, chemistry, and engineering by allowing them to develop real-world skills.

In the Engineering sector, it is majorly used for the printing of machine prototypes helping out in producing a scaled replica of innovative productions or fabrications.

Architects also make use of it for building structure prototypes replacing the use of the manual way, making use of straw boards, cardboards, paper boards, etc, at a better surface finish, and at a faster rate.

Fashion outlets use it for 3D cloths and bags design; Doctors use it to print important organs of the body needed for operations. And now, we are highlighting the 3D Food Printing.

3D printed food is a way of preparing a meal in an automated additive manner.  For example, the 3D printed pizza below has a dough base that is extruded line-by-line by a food 3D printer. A tomato sauce is also applied using the same food 3D Printer.

3D Printed Pizza

Pizza is not the only thing that can be printed with a 3D printer. We can also print chocolates, cakes, salads, fish crackers, spaghetti, bread rolls among many others.

Just as 3D printed structures print at a faster rate and at a good surface finish. 3D printed foods are also very reliable and save a lot of time in printing.

Is it safe to eat 3D printed food?

If it has been prepared with an appropriately food-safe and clean machine, Yes. At its basest, 3D printed food is nothing more than typical edible ingredients processed in such a way that they can be extruded through a nozzle onto a surface.

Imagine your best food printed on a 3D machine. Will you like to take a bite?

Of course, I will, if it looks good. Though, my best food is an indigenous food and has not been printed on the 3D food printer yet.

The global 3D food printing market is strongly motivated by the increasing demand for customized food products with nutrient content tailored for individual dietary needs. Depending on the food fabrication technique, several 3D printing technologies have been applied in this field to meet the demand for food designs and materials processing. The major types of technologies incorporated for 3D printing of food are fused deposition modeling (FDM), selective sintering, binder jetting, and ink-jet printing.

As promising as the food printing technology might be, the technique is still in its development phase and will keep improving.

I am eagerly waiting to see it print an Indigenous delicacy like Amala and Ewedu.

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