Personalized nutrition: 3D printing platform launched based on nano-cellulose
24 Oct 2017 --- A novel technology for the 3D printing of personalized food based on nano-cellulose – a natural, edible, calorie-free fiber – has been introduced by Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Hebrew University’s technology transfer company.
Professor Oded Shoseyov from the Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture and Professor Ido Braslavsky (pictured below), Director, Inter-Faculty Biotechnology Program at the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, developed a novel platform, based on nano-cellulose, that will enable the 3D printing of personalized food according to pre-defined criteria.
“Several market trends motivated the creation of the new 3D printing platform,” Professor Shoseyov tells NutritionInsight. “These include personalized food based on genetic markers and microbiome and special dietary needs, in particular gluten-free and low-calorie meals. In addition, the platform offers meat consumption reduction, food waste reduction, digitalization of food recipes and decentralization of food production.”
The novel solution can serve a variety of markets and populations, including the gluten-free market, meat substitutes, the vegetarian and vegan markets, low-calorie diets, diets for people with diabetes, athletes and more.
The self-assembly properties of nano-cellulose fibers enable the addition and binding of different food components (proteins, carbohydrates and fat) as well as the control of food texture. Another feature of the technology is the ability to cook, bake, fry and grill while printing in the three-dimensional space.
At the end of the printing process, the result is a tailored meal with special textures, enabling delivery of what Yissum describes as “nutritional, tasty, low-calorie cooked meals for a unique gastronomical experience.”
Potential to address challenges
“This promising technology is an excellent example of the kind of multidisciplinary, transformational inventions that originate from our Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Hebrew University in general, says Yaron Daniely, Ph.D., President and CEO of Yissum. “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.”
“This has the potential to address a variety of challenges facing the field of nutrition, from the demand for personalized food for people with diseases such as celiac or diabetes, to personal nutritional habits such as those of vegetarians, to addressing the problem of a lack of food in developing countries,” Daniely adds.
“Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University, filed for a patent on the technology, and it is currently in discussions with investors and entrepreneurs that will develop the product and bring it to market,” Professor Braslavsky tells NutritionInsight of the platform’s commercial future. “We anticipate that the first generation of the product will be available for use within two to three years.”
The technology will be presented by Professor Braslavsky at the 3D Printing and Beyond: Current and Future Trends conference to take place at the Hebrew University on October 25, 2017. The conference will introduce a variety of breakthrough 3D printing technologies and innovations by Israeli and international experts, from academia and industry. The conference is organized by the 3D & Functional Printing Center at the Hebrew University and Yissum, with the support of The Jerusalem Development Authority, The Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and The Jerusalem Municipality.
The October/November 2017 issue of The World of Food Ingredients will feature an article by Jerome Diaz of TNO on the potential for 3D printing in the personalized nutrition and supplements space.
By Paul Creasy
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