REDUCING FOOD WASTE WITH 3D PRINTED VEGS
Approximately one-third of all food around the world is wasted – that’s a truly depressing number, and a statistic that needs to turn around fast. Even though the percentage of wasted volumes in total production amounts is low, the number wasted in kilos is not. Many wholesalers, supermarkets, growers, and government institutions are working both separately and together to find innovative ways to decrease the amount of food we waste…and if DOOR and Oceanz have anything to say about it, 3D printing will play a part.
“Many 3D food printing projects now have a certain ‘fun element’, but in the end we head off to a professional 3D food printing market. It is clear that we all will be dealing with 3D printed food in the future,” said Erik van der Garde, the CEO of Oceanz.
There’s been plenty of research conducted, especially in the Netherlands, in terms of 3D printing food, and we’ve seen several 3D printed delectable dishes and desserts like chocolate, popsicles, hummus, pizza, pancakes and even gluten-free offerings. It’s even possible to create personalised food by adding flavours and nutrients based on people’s physical condition, taste preferences, DNA profile, and phase of life, and 3D print meat alternatives based on sustainable, plant-based materials.
But, based on current food waste and anticipating future food trends, Oceanz and DOOR – which has 42 members who grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, aubergine and pointed sweet peppers on over 520 hectares of greenhouses – have started a conversation regarding 3D printed vegetables.
The two organisations are now looking into new opportunities in 3D printing new food concept types, and will soon be announcing the first results of this joint investigation between two separate growth markets.
The goal is 100% use of food products – no waste at all. That’s a pretty tall order, but DOOR and Oceanz are confident in their abilities.
“In order to process the volumes to the maximum and work towards 100% use of the produced product volumes, Cooperative DOOR has set out various projects to reduce food waste from primary production,” explained Martijn Kesteloo, DOOR’s Business Development Manager. “They started years ago to dry tomato wedges for usage in restaurants & catering. With rejected tomatoes they created a base for tomato spread/ tapenade and to take it a step further, the investigation to find new ways of 3D printing food. With the use of 3D printing, Cooperative DOOR wants to realise one of their sustainability goals ‘100% usage of its produced products’.”