Choosing the right vegetables for "edible ink" improves the quality of printed food

Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), University of Singapore

Technology and Design (SUTD) and Khu Tek HospitalPoit (Khoo Teck Puat, KTPH) has developed a new way to create "edible ink" from fresh and frozen vegetables, preserving their nutritional value and flavor.

Edible ink is usually made from mashed foods in liquid or semi-solid form, then the dishes are assembled on a 3D printer by extrusion layer by layer.

Mashed food is usually served to patients suffering fromfrom problems with swallowing - dysphagia. To make food more visually appetizing, healthcare professionals used silicone molds to shape the puree. It takes a lot of work and time.

For such purposes, you can use, for example,3D printing of food. However, dehydrated foods and freeze-dried powders are used to prepare food of the desired shape and texture easily and quickly. Hydrocolloids (HA) are used to stabilize the ink. High hydrocarbon concentrations usually alter the taste, texture and aroma of printed food, making it unappetizing for dysphagia patients. This can lead to decreased food intake and malnutrition among patients.

To solve this problem, the research team studied various combinations of fresh and frozen vegetables.

Representative images of 3D printed forms withfive formulations of the same type of edible ink, images with rectangles drawn around them represent optimized formulations of ink. The print ratings presented in the upper right corner are based on accuracy and form stability. Credit: SUTD / NTU / KTPH

Not only were they better able to retain nutritionalproperties of printed food, but also made it more delicious. The new method of preparing food paints should lead to an increase in the consumption of food by patients, which will have a positive impact on their physical and mental health. In addition, the experts found that vegetables can be broadly divided into three categories, each requiring a different hydrocolloid treatment to be printable. For example, garden peas, carrots, and bok-choy were chosen as representatives in each category: no hydrocolloid, one type of HA and two types of HA, respectively.

Read more

Look at an 8 trillion pixel image of Mars

Scientists have developed a replacement for the theory of relativity. What is the essence of the "theory of everything"?

Abortion and science: what will happen to the children who will give birth

Extrusion (technological process) - method andthe process of obtaining products from polymeric materials (rubber mixtures, plastics, starch-containing and protein-containing mixtures) by forcing the material melt through a forming hole in the extruder.

Hydrocolloids - in the food and cosmetic industry - are the collective name for hydrophilic polymers capable of forming stable hydrogels in low concentrations.

Bok choy, or Chinese collard - varietyChinese cabbage. The bok-choi does not have heads of cabbage, instead it forms smooth, dark green leaves on thick stems around the central bud. Bok Choi is popular in southern China and Southeast Asian countries.