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article image3D printing of personalized food pioneered

By Tim Sandle     Oct 28, 2017 in Technology
Jerusalem - A remarkable technological breakthrough in 3D printing of food on demand has been showcased by a new start-up. The technology is based on nano-cellulose, which is a natural, edible, calorie-free fiber.
The company behind the innovation is the Yissum Research Development Company, which is based out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Yissum company’s role is to develop technology and then commercialize it, transferring the technology into the private sector.
The technology platform uses nano-cellulose. For industrial applications the material can be prepared from any cellulose source material, but woodpulp is normally used. With food, the material is generally used as a low calorie replacement for the types of carbohydrate additives used as thickeners, flavor carriers and suspension stabilizers. The use of the material for actually printing food is something quite novel.
The platform can print personalized food, according to pre-set criteria. This allows the platform to serve various dietary needs, such as gluten-free requirements; those desiring meat substitutes, such as the vegetarian markets; and those seeking low-calorie foods in order to diet.
This is possible through the self-assembly properties of nano-cellulose fibers, which allow for the addition and binding of different food components (such as proteins, carbohydrates and fat) as well the mechanism to control of food texture.
Furthermore, the technology enables the user to cook, bake, fry or grill the material as it is printed into the three dimensional space. The end result is a personalized meal, with special textures, according to the taste of the customer.
The technology was developed by Professor Oded Shoseyov and Professor Ido Braslavsky, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The new technology was recently presented to the 3D Printing and Beyond conference, which took place at the university during October 2017. The conference presented on a range of new 3D printing technologies and innovations.
In a statement, Dr. Yaron Daniely, who is the CEO of Yissum, said: "The ability to automatically prepare, mix, form and cook personalized food in one device, is a truly revolutionary concept. The idea is to enable full control of the substances used, for the purpose of creating healthy and tasty meals that can be eaten immediately."
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