3D-Printed Food Could Soon Feed the Planet

As meal makers look for more ways to make food that’s both nutritious and incapable of spoiling, 3D printers could be the chefs of the future.


How do you like your eggs in the morning? Freeze dried and completely unlike the delicious runny yolks you’d usually find in any diner worth its salt? Well me too! I jest, but that sort of God awful meal plan is what many soldiers around the globe are subject to. As it stands, a lot of the meat they eat is imitation and the dough and cheese and other products that you’d expect to be ‘fresh’ are made in such a way that they’re incapable of going mouldy. It would be disastrous if an entire platoon of soldiers suddenly got sick because someone didn’t realise that a loaf of bread was a couple of days past its use by date. Food like this also means that soldiers get the nutrition they need to do their country defending duty – the problem is, it’s probably the most unappetising thing that you could imagine. So roll on 3D printed food then, which the US Army is considering to expand its diet.

The plan, according to Army Magazine, is to use something called “ultrasonic agglomeration” to fuse particles with ultrasonic waves in an effort to provide more meal options. Not only would that make ‘imitation pork ribs’ a thing of the past (these are genuinely a real thing) it would also mean that specific meals could be put together for specific tastes and dietary needs. Got a bit of scurvy? 3D print something with citrus fruit in it to get the feeling in your gums back. Need to bulk up for a special operation? 3D printed carbohydrates for your diet!

Part of the US Army’s project involves a compact unit that would be capable of turning foraged items (tree bark, berries, you name it) into actual meals. As well as that being incredibly useful for soldiers, if they were rolled out to countries that typically suffer from famine, or just to us non-military people in general it could genuinely change the lives who usually go hungry because they cannot afford food of have no way of accessing proper nutrition. It’s unclear if the US Military would be willing to share its nutritional trade secrets with the rest of us, but it’s a nice thought regardless.

Source: Army Magazine

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