In the future two developments are thought to become very important: using 3D printers to create food and eating insects. Both developments probably don’t sound too delicious at first sight, but they are thought to be the solution to global food supply problems around 2050. British scientists have combined the “3D printing” and “insects” part in order to develop a technique to turn insects into appetizing meals.
In the near future, the population on earth is expected to grow while we’ll not be having enough food to feed everyone. The European Union and the World Food Organisation agree on the fact that eating insects could be the solution to this problem, as there are loads on insects and they can easily be turned into flour in order to prepare good, healthy meals.
Scientists have developed such a method where insects can be turned into flour. With a 3D printer they have found a way to turn the flour into products such as bread. Such meals are full of protein and minerals. The project is called Insects au Gratin and the flour that is used is a combination of crashed insects and larvae and chocolate, cream cheese or spices.
The team has been limited to insects available in the UK, and used mealworm beetle larvae in combination with fondant to produce icing for the top of cakes as well as cake decoration. Nevertheless, the plan is to use more protein-rich species in the future and to keep on experimenting in preparing good meals.
According to British newspaper The Telegraph, project leader (doctor) Ken Spears has said the following about it: “Mealworms have proved to be quite useful, you can get a 40 to 50 per cent protein count. We have then been turning them into a flour, combining that with a fondant paste and using that in a 3D printer. This forms a kind of ink that goes through the printer. We would like to do things like printing cake toppings, flowers and designs. If we can get a substantial structure we can print bars, like cereal bars.”
Image credit: Wikipedia.