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3D Food Printing: A Taste of the Future

Journal of Food Science Education Volume 14, Number 3, ISSN 1541-4329


One of the core competencies in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) education standards is for students to achieve competency in communication skills (that is, oral and written communication, listening, interviewing, and so on). According to the IFT guidelines, by the time students graduate, they should not only be able to search for and condense information, but also be able to "communicate technical information to a nontechnical audience." The Education, Extension and Outreach Division of IFT sponsors a writing competition for undergraduate students to bring attention to and promote the development of communication skills. It has been shown that employees/entry-level scientists who can communicate technical and nontechnical concepts succinctly will be in a better position to achieve management status after entering the work force. Monetary prizes are awarded to the authors of the top 3 papers. A revised version of the winning entry is published in the "Journal of Food Science Education" for dissemination to a worldwide audience. This entry describes how 3D printing technology can tranform the ability to prepare and consume foods. In fact, current food exploration has the ability to realize seemingly ludicrous ideas, such as printing pizza for space missions to Mars (Terfansky and others 2013). Quite simply, 3D printing is "additive manufacturing," or slowly building layer upon layer. Imagine printing an essay from your word processor program. After connecting the printer to the computer, the inkjet contains black ink, and row by row, prints each line of your report until it is complete. The process of printing food is similar, but instead of ink, the printer must be outfitted to work with foods such as sugar, starches, and/or proteins. In essence, printing food involves carefully layering tiny semi-liquefied food particles on top of each other to create novel processed foods (Lam and others 2012).


Lin, C. (2015). 3D Food Printing: A Taste of the Future. Journal of Food Science Education, 14(3), 86-87. Retrieved July 20, 2019 from .

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