Potential of 3D Food Printing To Be Used In The Imminent Crisis Of Food Shortage: Opinion Essay

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Since the beginning of the 20 century, printing has been revolutionized from improving the rate of printed production to the involvement of digital technology into printing. Even into the 21 century, printing has been innovated to the point where people are able to print not only materials but food as well. Thus, becoming a new trend in society today. 3D food printing has an interesting beginning, is helping people in the food industry, and has the potential to be used in the imminent crisis of food shortage; I can further help with these matters with my proposed design in which I will talk about how my design will deal with time management, utilizing more food substances, and how I plan to utilize my skills to get my design to help others.

A 3D food printer is a machine that uses food substances to create objects that have a geometric shape and are edible. It has a variety of uses that are mentioned further in the research. 3D food printers work by using a container that contains one or more food substances that are dispensed through a nozzle or a printer syringe onto a work area where the product is made. In order to make the shape of the dish the user desires, a program has to be utilized so that the design could be programmed into the 3D food printer and be dispensed according to the design. This action is like a method a baker uses to create designs on a cake using frosting, though, instead of trying to put the food substance on top of another object, the food substance is distributed on top of itself, creating layer by layer until the proposed design is complete. Also, a 3D food printer has the nozzle to go x-y-z-direction which is done by a using a tread system which pulls the nozzle back and forth in the direction that is needed.

The innovation of 3D food printing started at Hod Lipson’s laboratory at Columbia University, where Lipson and his team were trying to innovate 3D printing. Hod Lipson was a professor of mechanical engineering at this time and was a pioneer in 3D printing. In the article named “3D-Printed Food,” the author states, “It was in Lipson's lab about ten years ago that a few of his students had the idea to mess around with it. Somebody tried filling a printer syringe with frosting. Then cheese, chocolate, and other foods.” (Sorokanich) After his students did this, the journalists from New York Times and BBC came and Lipson realized of the potential of involving 3D printing technology with food due to the fact that people were asking about what food was made with the 3D printer.

The application of 3D food printing can be used in a number of ways in the food industry, one of them includes helping restaurants in preparing signature dishes for the customers. Some of the ways that chefs use 3D food printers are by using creativity in enticing the senses of the customer whether it is by making intrigue designs to attract using the eyes or to satisfy the customer in the texture of the food. The texture of the food makes a difference in pleasing the customer because it allows you to perceive food through its configuration whether it is the soft, jelly feel of a tomato or the smoothness of a creamy sauce. In an article named “Mouthfeel: the effect of sensation and texture on the flavor of food” the author mentions about a food scientist named Ole Mouritsen that did an experiment on ketchup with different configurations from chunky and coarse to smooth. He mentions of how the taste changed by stating, “To the extent that you would say the flavor is different is possibly because the release of the aroma compounds may be different when you have to chew and when you don't have to chew. In principle, since it is made of exactly the same things, it has the same taste and aroma. But the way it feels in the mouth, it's very different.” (Parsons) This means that due to texture, the flavors of the food are changed based on our perception and this is utilized by 3D food printers in allowing chefs to be able to change the texture of food substances used by making them more diluted or concentrated.

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A pressing matter that is known in the world is the fear of food shortage. The author from the article named “We Are Headed for a World Food Crisis. Here’s How to Stop It.” says, “ By 2050, with the global population expected to reach 9.8 billion, our food supplies will be under far greater stress. Demand will be 60% higher than it is today, but climate change, urbanization, and soil degradation will have shrunk the availability of arable land, according to the World Economic Forum. Add water shortages, pollution, and worsening inequality into the mix and the implications are stark.” (Hinicks) This means that by 2050, thousands of people will die due to the lack of food available. Due to the future predicament, people have already started looking in how 3D food printing can help those facing food shortage, for example in the article named “How 3D printed food could end world hunger” the author mentions, “Anjan Contractor, a senior mechanical engineer at Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) ... is planning to reduce the primary nutrients in food – the fats, proteins, and carbs – to powder. He believes that the substance can then be mixed with oils and water to make food substitutes by way of a 3D printer extruder.” (Young) This innovation Anjan Contractor has made with a 3D food printer could help people have a dependable source of food when famine comes. Also, Contractor’s idea involves ingredients which don’t spoil immediately which can last for a period of time that can decide between a person’s or family’s life or death. Though Contractor’s idea is great by itself, my design could help him and others to exceed further.

In doing my design I plan to solve the problem of time management. This is a major concern for 3D food printers for it takes a long period of time to produce the desired product. The printer has to carefully eject out food substance onto the layout without having it to fall out of place when it is being put on top of different layers of food substances of the desired product which is like building a sand castle. If you were to hurrying to dump sand on top of previously dumped sand then you will have significant amounts of material to be wasted in the building process because some of the sand would fall off of the main structure. The method would needlessly waste time, energy, and materials. While if you took time to build the sand castle with each pouring to the desired purpose then less effort, time, and materials would be expended carelessly. Another thing that would impact the time management of a 3D food printer is mentioned by the person that I interviewed named Thomas Grey. He is an engineer that works at Envision 3D Printing and when I asked him a question, “How can the duration of a product’s construction in 3D printing be shortened?” Grey’s response was, “It is dependent on machine technology and what the material properties are.” (Grey) With this in mind, I was able to decide that I won’t be able to improve the time management of the 3D food printer due to the fact that the 3D food printer would be using different kinds of food substances that will have different output rates in dispensing food substances to print food, so I decided to have my design to have the 3D food printer to create two products at the same time. The design would be using two robotic arms that are opposite to one another, across a workspace, to create food at the same time. They will be connected to printing syringes which will have hoses leading to the food substance supply. The food industry with the use of this product would be able to fasten the pace of developing 3D printed food which would have more people to have the opportunity to try 3D printed food. Also, those facing food shortages would be able to get food at a faster pace. This can be applied to a situation where people in a refugee camp are waiting to get food. With this design proposal, people won’t have to wait in line for a long period of time which is beneficial because sometimes when there is a food shortage and people are waiting in line, there is a possibility where people start to get impatient and start a riot to get food which leads to the food supply to be ravage and wasted due to the fact that people won’t utilize the food to be shared equally to other people.

Another aspect that my design would innovate is utilizing more food substances used in 3D food printers. Although the 3D food printers have potential, they have limited applications due to the fact that there is a limit of what food substances can be used in 3D food printers. The author in an article named, “3D Food Printers: How They Could Change What You Eat” mentions of what food substances are now used in 3D food printers by stating, “... most of the 3D food printers in existence are restricted to dry, shelf-stable ingredients, because most protein and dairy products have a spoilage risk.” (Wiggers) This problem can be solved by utilizing a refrigeration system that covers the food supply used in 3D food printing so that the food substances would last longer. With the use of this innovation, people would be able to use food substances that couldn’t be used before in a safe manner like utilizing vegetables, fruits, and other foods that can be refined into a liquid mixture. People in the food industry like chefs would be able to expand the frontier of creating food with this and those who are facing food shortage can have a more variety of food to choose from with being able to get the nutrition that you can only get from plants.

In utilizing my skills to get my design to help others I would improve my design and advertise it to others. My design would be improved by using a program called “SketchUp” which is used in 3D printers that involve creating products from non-edible materials. The principles are the same in creating the product from the ground up and having a background knowledge in AutoCAD to create sketches that will be transferred into the printer to create the designs. This will be helpful in simplifying the amount of work the customer the needs to create the desired product. Moreover, having knowledge in electronics will allow me to know of what components are needed in a 3D food printer like what wires, mechanical components, and how much power is needed for the printer to work properly and efficiently. I plan to advertise my design by first patenting my design, in order for me to be credited for my design, and avoid the lawsuits for designs that may be similar to mine. Then promote it to people by advertising it on the internet like on Amazon, discoveraether.com, and other websites that promote 3D food printers. Moreover, I plan to use my presentation skills to promote my innovation to people at conventions promoting advancements in technology.

3D food printing is changing the world as we know it. It has risen from a little fun in a lab to an interest in the public that has become a trend in technology. People in the food industry such as chefs have used this to expand what dishes to create and the experience in eating. The prospect of 3D food printing has potential in saving the world population from famine where in the future it is predicted that food shortages would cause thousands of people to die due to lack of food. Moreover, the design that I propose is going to solve two major problems in the food industry which are time management and utilizing a more variety of food substances. My design would help in time management by utilizing two robotic arms to produce two food products at the same time. A more variety of food substances can be implemented into what the 3D food printers could make by using a refrigeration system that will prolong the spoiling of fresh ingredients. Last but not least, I plan to make use of my skills to promote my design to aid in others by improving the design of my 3D food printer and advertise it. The world is changing whether or not people are ready for what is to come, it is up to the person to grasp the opportunity when it comes.

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Potential of 3D Food Printing To Be Used In The Imminent Crisis Of Food Shortage: Opinion Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/potential-of-3d-food-printing-to-be-used-in-the-imminent-crisis-of-food-shortage-opinion-essay/
“Potential of 3D Food Printing To Be Used In The Imminent Crisis Of Food Shortage: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/potential-of-3d-food-printing-to-be-used-in-the-imminent-crisis-of-food-shortage-opinion-essay/
Potential of 3D Food Printing To Be Used In The Imminent Crisis Of Food Shortage: Opinion Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/potential-of-3d-food-printing-to-be-used-in-the-imminent-crisis-of-food-shortage-opinion-essay/> [Accessed 20 Apr. 2024].
Potential of 3D Food Printing To Be Used In The Imminent Crisis Of Food Shortage: Opinion Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/potential-of-3d-food-printing-to-be-used-in-the-imminent-crisis-of-food-shortage-opinion-essay/
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