The requirement for and demand for food rises along with the global population’s daily growth. Food supplies may be a major issue for some people because of greenhouse gas emissions, increasing water demand, and other causes. In reality, some nations in Asia, South America, and Africa have already started consuming goods like insects and algae. Scientists have therefore been attempting to find a solution to this issue for humanity.
According to sciencedirect.com, a group of researchers at the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) have been searching for solutions to potential issues with the food supply and have settled on printing some. Researchers decided to improve the flavor of eating crickets or larvae by mixing them with other widely consumed vegetables like carrots.
“For many people, the look and flavor of such alternative proteins might be unsettling. This is where the adaptability of 3D food printing steps up to the plate since it can change how food is presented and get past consumer inhibitions’ inertia “says Chua Chee Kai, a professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design and co-author of the study.
Food blending is a difficult process.
Amazon claims that mixing different food inks and optimizing them for 3D food printing is a difficult process. Trial and error is the key method used to move the process forward. To facilitate the process, Prof. Chua and his group collaborated with experts from the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC).
“Future generations may rely mostly on alternative proteins for their protein needs. To optimize food inks, this study suggests a methodical engineering approach. This will make it simple to create and customize foods that are aesthetically beautiful, delicious, and nutritionally adequate yet have different proteins added. Our goal is to increase consumer use of these novel but sustainable food products “says Yi Zhang, a professor at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and the study’s principal investigator.
The study team adjusted the protein ink compositions with three variables—carrot powder, proteins, and xanthan gum—using the central composite design approach. The carrot powder helps give the created inks mechanical strength in addition to flavor, nutrition, and color.
“This research study may also be generalized for additional food additives, and the reaction of the food inks like texture, printability, and water seepage may be added for optimization,” said Aakanksha Pant, the paper’s co-corresponding author and Research Associate from SUTD. Researchers might use a similar methodology to optimize 3DFP food inks that are composed of complicated multicomponent food ingredients as a result of the response surface method approach.