Graham crackers, peanut butter, Nutella, banana puree, strawberry jam, cherry drizzle, and strawberry frosting were used to create the cheesecake-like dessert.
The team claimed that their research, which was published in the journal npj Science of Food, lays the foundation for what 3D food printing may entail in the future,
including enhancing food safety and enabling users to regulate the nutrients in their meals.
We have a serious issue with the low nutritional value of processed foods,
according to Professor Christen Cooper of Pace University in the US.
Although processed foods will still be produced using 3D food printing,
some people may benefit from better control and individualized nutrition.
Copying the shapes of real foods and using foods with a pureed texture that these patients — millions in the US alone —
require, may also help make food more appealing to those with swallowing disorders.
The researchers examined the structural component of each ingredient as part of their demonstration project.
A customized food printer that can print up to seven ingredients was outfitted with edible food inks that were loaded into various cartridges.
The researchers eventually figured out how to arrange the dessert’s layers and shape after making several attempts.
Each layer’s “foundational ingredient” was a graham cracker, with peanut butter and Nutella acting as supporting layers to create “pools” in which the softer ingredients, such as banana and jam, could be held.
It was discovered that the tapered shape worked best to keep the dessert from crumbling.
Streamlining the Food 3D print process
The researchers claimed that their work demonstrates
how easily printers could be customized for different types of food.
Because 3D food printing is still a young technology,
it requires an ecosystem of supporting industries, such as food cartridge producers,
downloadable recipe files, and a space in which to develop and share these recipes.
Lead author Jonathan Blutinger is a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University in the US.
Roboticist and head of the creative machines lab Professor Hod Lipson added:
“The study also highlights that printed food dishes will likely require novel ingredient compositions and structures,
due to the different way, the food is assembled.