Healthy Personalized Foods Might Be Right Around the Corner

The Lempert Report: 3D printing could create ingredients that conform to users' needs or preferences

We've been touting 3D printing for food opportunities here at The Lempert Report ever since I witnessed and tasted Oreos being 3D printed at SxSW (South by Southwest) five years ago.

We’ve showcased other foods, like pizza being 3D printed, and offered up the idea that 3D printing of food, in retail stores as well as home applications, could be one of the biggest tools in our fight against waste. 

Now it gets even more exciting. 

Jin-Kyu Rhee, associate professor at Ewha Womans University in South Korea, presented his research findings at the 2018 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting, aimed at applying 3D technology to the creation of customized food that would fit individuals' unique nutritional needs. 

"We built a platform that uses 3D printing to create food microstructures that allow food texture and body absorption to be customized on a personal level," Rhee said in a press statement. "We think that one day, people could have cartridges that contain powdered versions of various ingredients that would be put together using 3D printing and cooked according to the user's needs or preferences."

In Rhee's research, he and his team re-created the physical properties and nanoscale texture of real food and figured out how to turn carbohydrate and protein powders into food with microstructures that can be adjusted to control texture and absorption by the body. 

Take this concept, match it with the DNA results of nutritional tests from Habit or 23andMe and we might be 20 steps closer to what nutraceuticals were meant to be.


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