A £2.5 million project to develop 3D-printed food for people in care homes who suffer from mastication and swallowing problems has been funded by the European Union.
A ‘smoothfood’ meal is made by deconstructing parts of a dish and putting them back together in a form that is safe and easy to chew and swallow.
Bizoon, who created the smoothfood concept in 2010, do this by cooking, pureeing and straining food and then mixing it with a solidifying agent and remoulding it.
The 3D-printing process constructs food items layer by layer, into a look and taste that matches the original food item but with a texture which is “soft and gel-like”.
The aim of 3D-printing the meals is to develop something which is visually appetizing.
The new project will have a focus on adapting meals to suit the taste, dietary requirements and nutritional needs of people living in care homes.
The food will be designed to ensure that people who struggle to eat remain interested in food, rather than being discouraged by mashed food.
Mathias Kück, co-ordinator of the project said: “We found that because the meals are more appealing in terms of appearance and taste, people look forward to eating again.
“Because demographic development means the number of people who would benefit from its outcome is growing larger and it is up to us to ensure they get the quality of life they deserve.”
The smoothfood concept is currently being used in over 1,000 care homes in Germany.
There are only six foods available as smoothfoods: Cauliflower, peas, chicken, pork, potatoes and pasta.
Image: Katarina Jåger, 2011. Copyright.
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