3D printing food, not just solve the problem of eating.
Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Silicon Valley Insight” (ID :guigudiyixian), author Joanna Hou, authorized to send cloth.
Every little friend, have you eaten breakfast? I wonder if you have thought about the scene of grilling steaks in your own kitchen while 3D printing steaks? Xiaoyan recently met a grandfather at the Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Competition sponsored by Seedland. He printed the steaks in his own lab and went home to eat for his son!
Xiaoyan said, ah, I also want to eat steak at home… What the hell is going on? Then let’s talk about this old grandfather.
(3D printed meat, map from the network)
The invention of 3D printed steak was an accident
Dr. Rubinsky is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He began teaching in 1980. His main research interests include heat and mass transfer in biomedical engineering and biotechnology. And has a number of patents. Dr. Rubinsky has long been interested in 3D printing technology, but mainly in medicine. As early as January 14, 2019, the University of California, San Diego, used rapid 3D printing technology to create a spinal scaffold that mimicked the structure of the central nervous system, which successfully helped the rat to resume motor function.
(Professor Rubinsky, from the University of California, Berkeley official website)
Dr. Rubinsky wants to go a step further and print out human organs to solve medical needs, such as kidney printing. If you can print a living kidney, you will no longer have to find a suitable kidney for kidney failure and be frustrated.
To achieve this ideal, Dr. Rubinsky spent many yearsBlood concentrating research. He tried to print out a kidney frame, fill the frame with active biological cells, and give appropriate chemical conditions to promote the growth of these living cells.
But the problem is that the entire print frame process takes 5 hours. In the process, the gradually filled biological cells cannot survive due to oxidation. Another problem is that 3D printing technology has not yet reached the point of printing blood vessels or nerves (the diameter is too small).
Unexpectedly, Dr. Lu made a piece of meat that could be glued together by liquid nitrogen freezing technology. Although these meat cells can’t survive, the pieces of meat that are put together are no different from our edible meat.
Then, the climax is coming. It may be the meat printed by the liquid nitrogen freezing technology, which makes Dr. Lu feel like he has met the meat sold in the vegetable market. Dr. Lu’s brain opened and decided to turn! war! Food market!
This is the origin of the RS3Dprint project.
(Dr. Lab 3D Printed Meat, image courtesy of RS3Dprint)
What does the printed meat look like? Here’s how:
(The final 3D printed meat, image courtesy of RS3Dprint)
(Fried meat, picture courtesy of RS3Dprint)
Everyone must be very strange. Why do you have to eat more meat? Is it not enough to kill pigs and slaughter sheep? Xiaoyan now takes everyone to understand why this 3D printed piece of meat is a great discovery.
Why is 3D printed meat slice a great discovery?
Children’s shoes that know a little about 3D printing know that the printed materials are layer by layer. Since there is no material linked to the material, the material is easy to fall apart. Unexpectedly, this kind of feature that allows the meat to be thrown out at any time has to save a lot of people!
1. Meeting the needs of special patients
According to the US Health Interview Survey, an estimated 1.44 million adults in the United States have food swallowing problems within one year. Of these patients, approximately 28% reported that their swallowing problems were moderate to severe. Stroke is the most frequently reported cause, followed by various neurological diseases and head and neck cancer. The average number of days affected by swallowing problems is 139 days per year.
The study concluded that one in every 25 adults had a problem of phagocytosis. Only a small percentage of this group of patients seek outside help.
What is this concept? That is to say, among the 320 million people in the United States, tens of millions of people suffer from dysphagia, equivalent to more than 38 million meals a day and 13 billion meals a year.
In addition, millions of people can benefit from 3D printed meals in the short term. For example, there are more than 40 million hospitalizations per year, so in many cases patients recovering from surgery are difficult to chew or swallow and can benefit from a nutritious meal.
Everyone thinks that these patients can only rely on drinking porridge or citing liquid food to help the food swallow. The taste is single, and many of the proteins we get from meat are not available to these patients. Coupled with the process of chewing food, what about the pleasure of enjoying food?
Dr. Dr.’s 3D printed meat can be as delicious as the meat we usually eat, but once it reaches the throat, it will be self-contained, so that the food that is difficult to swallow can be enjoyed by everyone.
In addition, the 3D printing process also allows for the combination of multiple components. Although various meats such as beef and lamb can be mixed and printed, RS3Dprint has also successfully printed beef/vegetable and beef/fruit combinations. This combination of mass production of meat and fruits/vegetables into snacks will open up new food markets for the world.
There may be children’s shoes to question, if the printing is very slow, it is not realistic to play well.
As you know, traditional 3D printing is like building a house. The bricks are layer by layer. On the xyz axis, a brick and a brick cover, and finally a house, is very slow.
At present, Dr. Lu has designed a continuously moving base to save printing on the Z-axis. On the XY axis, he built a single-nozzle printer attached to a 25 cl syringe that prints on a continuously moving base. The syringe system has the ability to accommodate eight syringes of any volume to achieve quantitative changes. Currently, the printing speed has now reached 1 ml per minute.
(printer design and printing process, picture by Available from RS3Dprint)
Although 3D printing is slower than producing hot dogs, the yield and product category return rate increases exponentially. On a ten-head printer, the current flow rate is 1 ml/min, and the RS3D prints 60 ml per hour. This is equivalent to $42 for a comparable product at a comparable snack price. The potential revenue for 3D printed meat snacks is much higher due to input materials and hot dogs that are processed at or below $4 per pound.
In addition, Dr. Lu also invented two patents for low temperature graphite printing and cold lithography. Low temperature graphite printing allows RS3Dprint to print multiple layers of meat. Cold lithography is the process of stacking multiple layers of biomaterial while freezing the pieces together.
These two patents have two advantages: the first is to protect the biological material from spoilage, and the second is to put all the fibers in the same direction to form a continuous piece of meat. Combined with low-temperature lithography and large-scale production of single-layer 3D printed meat, RS3D can provide meat producers with higher value meat products.
(Image courtesy of RS3Dprint)
2, solve social problems of food waste
According to the RS3Dprint research report, one-third of vegetables, fruits, and meat are eliminated in advance each year before entering the market due to poor sales. Unsightly vegetables and fruits can also be used to make juice as a by-product, but unsightly meat is not so lucky, and often it is a wasteful ending. RS3Dprint solves this big waste problem. In fact, it is very simple. The 3D printing raw materials are also prepared to be in a powder state, so no matter what kind of meat products are grown, the powder is the same.
3. Can provide better food sources for warriors or astronauts
US military spending accounts for about 54% of the government’s total budget. This is equivalent to an annual expenditure of $598.5 billion. Although this budget covers everything from ham to grenades (the latter is more expensive)) All the content, but military spending is a real economic engine in the United States. From food to natural gas, medicine, from school to nuclear weapons, as the largest free-dominated consumer in the US economy, this is clearly a market opportunity for 3D printed food.
3D food printing technology has become an innovative solution for critical applications that government verticals use for military and space research. In fact, in 2012, the government spent $1.5 million to develop a special new type of beef jerky. This is the scale that 3D printing can be easily implemented. MREs (Read-to-Eat) are the lasting proteins of the battlefield. MRE offers flexibility and diversity to customize meals to meet the nutritional needs of individual soldiers.
National Aeronautics and Astronautics also values 3D printing’s ability to create nutritious and sustainable food. The Space Agency is now testing ways to incorporate this food production innovation into deep space missions. They provided $125,000 to the systems and materials research company to make prototype 3D food printers and test their ability to feed astronauts on long-haul flights.
(various MREs, images from the web)
3D printing market with hundreds of flowers
In fact, don’t underestimate 3D printing food, there have been many developments in this field. There are a number of startups around the world like BeeHex, Foodini and Jet-Eats that can print single items such as pizza, chocolate and bread.
Jet Eat is an Israeli startup that destroys the vegan food market by developing 3D printing technology to produce meat substitutes using plant formulas. The company was founded in early 2018 and its product goal is to enter the market by 2020. Jet Eat has received funding from angel investors. The company recently won the European Food Accelerator Network Competition.
BeeHex is an American startup founded in January 2016 and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. BeeHex emerged from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) $125,000 project to make pizza “the pie in the sky.” Thanks to Donatos Pizza, the company recently raised $1 million to further develop its Chef 3D printer. BeeHex’s extruders use a pneumatic system to deposit layers of edible material, using cartridges filled with different ingredients, such as dough and sauces. Their website claims to have large quantities of 3D foodCommercial application products for printing technology.
Natural Machines was founded in November 2012 and is developing Foodini, the only 3D food printer available today, claiming that it can use fresh ingredients to make whatever the customer wants. The company said Foodini uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to monitor and optimize each dish. The printer is also connected to the Internet and has a built-in touch screen interface for 3D printing of food.
(3D printed packages, images from the web)
The overall market trend is moving upwards and competition is becoming more intense, which has led every company to strive to innovate and find the most suitable market.
However, Xiaoyan is still confident about the future of RS3Dprint. Quite simply, although other companies are 3D printed foods, RS3Dprint is the only company that specializes in the mass production of high-value meat products for specific populations, plus its special freezing and stacking technology that makes it already in the field of 3D printed food. There is irreplaceable competition.
Imagine that in the near future, we can give the meat a variety of delicious spices, nutritious vitamins, and vegetables with high chlorophyll and fiber, truly enter a food that we control ourselves, everyone thinks When the time comes, will you be willing to eat 3D printed food?