3D food printing happens to be one of the most exciting potential applications of 3D printing technology. The world’s first restaurant with produce only made by 3D printing methods – opened its doors in July of this year. But what if additive manufacturing technology could be used as a solution to global food crises? Namely, the problems of undernourishment and extreme weather events wreaking havoc on developing regions.
A recent news feature on Eurasian news website – eurasiareview.com – proposed the intriguing possibility of using additive manufacturing technology to provide stable nutrition for people in the poorest nations of southeast Asia. As climate change continues to wreak havoc across the globe, poorer regions tend to be the worst hit areas. Natural disasters often bring severe food shortages to already vulnerable regions. Furthermore, many countries severely lack the quality and quantity of food required for adequate nutrition. Both of these issues lead to chronic malnutrition among people in countries such as Cambodia, Laos, and the Philipines.
3D Printing Solution
Of course, additive manufacturing hasn’t taken over the global economy. But its use in an increasingly disparate range of industries grows each day. In terms of the global food crisis, the postulated benefits of printing food are incredible. Firstly, it addresses malnutrition thanks to customization that ensures adequate nutrient intake, based on a person’s dietary requirements. Moreover, 3D-printed food offers portability and on-demand nutrients compared to traditional food production methods. This makes the technology invaluable during times of disaster when a region might not have access to transport and thus food.
In fact, the U.S military already plans to use 3D-printing for customized nutrient intake for soldiers, and easy meal preparation on the battlefield. Making food this way results in a lot less waste, something that definitely has the potential to benefit poor countries.
The practicality of 3d printing and the lower costs associated with producing food this way could pave the way for the technology to solve an important global issue. Even the poorest people in developing countries normally have access to rice. By combining this staple carbohydrate with a special 3D-printed dissolvable stock cube that provides adequate nutrient intake, the problem of malnutrition could be eradicated cheaply and efficiently.
It’s probable that you’ll soon see the governments of such countries looking into 3d printing as a solution for malnutrition. As this news feature points out, a proactive approach makes the most sense. Instead of continuing with the way things are, developing nations need to actively pursue new technology.
The initial outlay required to incorporate additive manufacturing into a national nutritional plan might be expensive. But the reduced disease, deaths, and strain on the healthcare systems of developing nations associated with addressing malnutrition this way offsets the cost.
This news feature highlights yet another wonderful aspect of 3D printing. It is not only a technological development that improves manufacturing–it also has the potential to solve important global issues when used the right way.