The population of the world has been increasing exponentially. Although agricultural production has also been revolutionized, many believe that our production does not meet the current population’s requirements. If the population keeps increasing at this rate, then food production techniques will need to be radicalized to keep up with the high demand. There are some new ideas that are emerging that will ensure that no one goes hungry.
The answer may lie in three-dimensional printers, better known as 3D Printers. They can print almost anything, jewelry, toys, decorations, etc. Some carbon fiber printers can even create miniature automobiles with vivid detail.
Some recent developments in this technology have seen printers actually produce food materials. Many believe this holds the answers to the world’s food problems. Foods can be printed with better nutritional values and even give areas which have no access to fresh foods, enough food to eat.
What 3D Printing Involves?
3D Printers that attempt to print food are mostly in the category of Deposition Printers. They cause the accumulation of layer after layer of raw material in a process called additive manufacturing. A newer printer called the binding printer causes all these materials to be glued together by what is known as an edible cement.
The most recent printers are much more complex, having several more components and complicated processes like crystallization. Printers like the Foodini are even capable of making pizzas and pasta.
Many professional kitchens have already begun using Food Printers. They are especially preferred because they can create flawless designs out of chocolate and construct exquisite delicacies in one go. The same skill would require years of dedication and study by a chef.
A pop-up restaurant called Food Ink utilized 3D printers to create everything from scratch, from the chairs to the tables to of course the delicacies presented on the plates.
Sustainability and Nutrition
By 2050, the world is expected to have a population of 9.6 billion. In order to meet their food requirements, the food production has to increase by at least 50%. While it is not being suggested that 3D printing by itself will resolve the issue, it will definitely aid in food production. It will also contribute to the reduction of fuel emissions thereby leading to a cleaner and greener planet.
3D Printers are also expected to make more nutritious foods, reducing the toxicity of presently processed foods. They may be able to deliver the exact amount of drug and food supplements that people need to suit their dietary requirements. This could be very useful to patients with medical issues.
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