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Food waste converted into delicious 3D printed snacks

Published on February 21, 2019 by Carlota V.
3d printed snacks

Mass production of food has only exacerbated the issue of food waste. Food waste happens during processing, distribution and finally consumption. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, food waste worldwide represents a third of the total food produced for consumption, more or less 1.6 billion tons per year. Considering some people still go hungry this is alarming in all aspects. A young entrepreneur from the Netherlands and recent graduate in industrial design, Elzelinde van Doleweerd has developed a process that recycles food that would otherwise be tossed. Because of her project’s success and initiative she started a company, Upprinting Food. Indeed, the company produces 3D printed snacks using food waste.

3D Printed Snacks to Reduce Food Waste

This is not the only initiative related to food and 3D printing we have seen. Usually, the focus is not exclusively on reducing food waste. For example, we recently covered Natural Machines’ Foodini 3D printer that can bring healthy and innovative dishes to your kitchen. Elzelinde van Doleweerd brings a new purpose to 3D printed food by targeting sustainability within the food industry.

Elzelinde van Doleweerd

After a few months working in a restaurant in the Netherlands, she started her food design project “Upprinting Food”. During her project, she decided to reuse food materials and even incorporate food waste into her dishes. Much of the cause of food waste simply boils down to transportation and food sitting on shelves waiting to be purchased for too long. Food waste does not always mean that the food is bad though. As Van Doleweerd explains, “When bread is old, it is dry and we do not like to eat it anymore. For this reason I started with the development of a food paste with old bread”. By making a paste of the food and storing it in sealed contained, the food is protected from exposure to air. Actually, one of the main contributing factors to spoilage.

Expanding the applications of this new technology

Following this project, Van Doleweerd partnered with 3D Food Company, a company based in China and focusing on technologies. The partnership came about to drive the manufacture of 3D printed snacks from food waste in China. In fact, tons of rice are consumed daily in China, and a not so negligible portion ends up being wasted. Van Doleweerd saw the opportunity to develop a printable food paste from rice.

A few months ago, she presented at Beijing Design Week her creations. They involved beautiful geometric shapes and bowls. Hard to believe the 3D printed food looked like fine cuisine. The entrepreneur is currently developing other types of pastes for 3D printing, mainly intended for the vegan community. It will exclude ingredients such as eggs and butter. She is experimenting with different plants, fruits and vegetables to bring even more flavours and shapes to this original technology.

For more information you can watch visit the official Upprinting Food website HERE.

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