Worldwide, around one third of all food is wasted. Growers, wholesalers, supermarkets and (governmental) institutions are working individually or collectively in their local markets on the issue of reducing the amount of wasted food. Despite the fact that wasted volumes in percentage of the total production amounts are relatively low, the numbers in kilos is an considerable amount and a great incentive to find new possibilities to lower the amount. 3D food printing could play an interesting role. For more information see the IDTechEx report on 3D printing materials.
A mix between two growth markets based on the issue of 'food waste' and the anticipation of 'future food trends', Cooperative DOOR (an independent growers association of fruiting vegetables in the Netherlands) started a dialogue with Oceanz 3D printing to jointly investigate the possibilities of 3D printing of vegetables. Both organisations are observing new opportunities of producing new types of food concepts. Recently, an official start has been made to investigate the possibilities and the impossibilities. The cooperation between the two companies creates a nice mix between two different growth markets. The first results will be announced shortly.
100% Use of the product
"In order to process the volumes to the maximum and work towards 100% use of the produced product volumes, Cooperative DOOR has set out various projects to reduce food waste from primary production. They started years ago to dry tomato wedges for usage in restaurants & catering. With rejected tomatoes they created a base for tomato spread/ tapenade and to take it a step further, the investigation to find new ways of 3d printing food. With the use of 3D printing, Cooperative DOOR wants to realize one of their sustainability goals '100% usage of its produced products'," says Martijn Kesteloo, Business Development manager.
Professional 3D printing of food
A lot of research is already being done concerning the technological possibilities of 3D food printing. At this moment it is possible to print with materials, like sugar mixtures, chocolate or a puree of different ingredients. "Many 3D food printing projects now have a certain 'fun element', but in the end we head off to a professional 3D food printing market," says Erik van der Garde, CEO of Oceanz 3D printing. "It is clear that we all will be dealing with 3D printed food in the future".
Valuable food concepts
Next to creating complex and unique forms, 3D printing offers the possibility to produce valuable and high quality food concepts. For example, it is possible to develop personalized food by adding nutrients or flavour based on people's DNA profile, their physical condition, life phase or taste preferences.
3D printing of meat alternatives based on sustainable plant based materials is also possible. In addition to the possibility of printing various forms, a product will also be able to get other desired characteristics. These complex structures and textures will lead to unique taste experiences.
Source and top image: Oceanz