3D food printing is mainly used in specific fields such as space exploration and health care. Although it is impossible to print all kinds of food (e.g., bread or cake) and 3D printers is not a popular household device, Prof. Katarzyna Majewska from the University of Warmia claims that the 3D food printing market is expected to grow 40% by 2023.
Until 2014 the 3D food printers were used in the confectionery industry and bakery industry. Then, new printing devices entered the market and food printing extended. The video below presents the Foodini printer which is mainly used for the preparation of dishes from fresh products. Although the printer does not cook or bake meals, it can manufacture such food products as spaghetti souse or pizza. The printer uses up to 5 capsules filled with food and prints various shapes. 3D food printing is a customizable nutrition method. The broad spectrum of shape, colour, texture, etc. of food makes it very useful in various fields such as space exploration (e.g., NASA) and healthcare.
According to Prof. Katarzyna Majewska from the University of Warmia, Department of Plant Raw Materials Processing and Chemistry, in the future 3D food printing may help patients who are unable to chew food. The project concerning the techniques of producing the so-called smooth food funded by the European Union is being introduced in European nursing homes for the elderly and the sick. A similar initiative was recently launched in the US, at a university hospital in Utah, where a special Foodini 3D food production machine was used to create “soft” meals for patients with swallowing disorders.
3D food printing technology is also used in some restaurants, for example, Food Ink in London.