Bremerhaven, Germany – A German company is thinking ahead when it comes to aging consumers around the world.
Biozoon Food Innovations GMBH is developing a 3D food printing system for seniors and elderly people who find it difficult to chew and swallow their food.
The German company has created what it calls the PERFORMANCE system or PERsonalized FOod using Rapid MAnufacturing for the Nutrition of elderly ConsumErs.
PERFORMANCE is a three-year E.U. funded research project that aims to help those consumers who suffer from dysphagia, decreased organoleptic perception, and mastication and swallowing problems.
These consumers are often limited to only soft or liquid food. So Biozoon hopes to increase the choices they have, reports PSFK.com. The system can produce solid food that dissolves quickly in the mouth when eaten.
Biozoon says one objective of the system is to personalize food choices and nutrition to meet the needs of these consumers.
The system can take into account each person’s taste preferences, portion size, required nutrient content, texture and needed vitamins.
The system could be used in a hospital, long-term care or nursing home setting. Not only would it print the food, but it would also offer each consumer a personalized packaging concept (which includes identification codes), special reusable trays and a sealing concept for individualized heating of the meal.
PSFK.com explains that the 3D-printed food will be made from a gelatin base and solidifies upon printing, but quickly dissolves in the mouth. The printer will work the same way as a conventional printer, but will use liquified food instead of ink. Instead of different cartridges for different colors, it will have cartridges for liquified meat, vegetables, and carbohydrates. The printer will print out the food layer by layer until the finished meal emerges.
Biozoon says PERFORMANCE will help frail and elderly consumers to become more independent.
And the system can make it easier for small and medium-size enterprises to manufacture and supply personalized food.
Photo by Katharina Jäger 2011