Boosting Foods with Additive Manufacturing: functionality, cultivated meats and scalability

presented by Sara Oliveira, PhD, Research Engineer, INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, at Online Healthy Nutrition Conference (25 November 2020, 14:30 – 18:00 CET). REGISTER HERE to attend

This presentation is about strategies to improve the value and nutrition of additive manufacturing of foods. I will discuss our functional and protein-rich inks approach, how additive manufacturing can boost baked foods’ bioactivity, and the use of the technology for cultivated meat.

The M3atD project explores 3D Food Bioprinting, envisioning cultivated meats’ scalable production and develops edible inks containing living cells.



What drives you?

I am driven by the thrill of integrating my multidisciplinary expertise with our team’s know-how to level up 3D Food Printing and create better food solutions: more sustainable, healthier, and valuable to society.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?

The delegates will have the opportunity to hear about our latest developments in 3D Food Printing and the M3atD project – the first project exploring how additive manufacturing may be successfully applied to cultivated meat production.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?

3D printing has a tremendous potential to replicate the complexity of meat. We might soon see 3D printed alternative meats made from plant-based or other non-cellular sources in the market. However, the technology has yet to be scaled-up before employing a scale-out strategy so that the food industry gets interested. And, we are still a little far from the scenario where many people will have their printers at home. New inks and new printers have to be developed. In the long run, we will see cultivated printed meats replicating conventional meat at all levels: appearance, texture, and nutrition/composition.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?

The future impact of this technology will be immense. We will have new jobs, and who knows if people will also make their meats and personalized meals at home. Changing the process of meat production, besides improving animal welfare, will also reduce its environmental and health impacts.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?

The major challenges are to overcome the current limitations, also seen in 3D bioprinting (tissue engineering), to develop edible bioinks suitable for the scale-up of the technology, and later build tailored printers.

“Special Quote”

“Things are only impossible until they’re not”

Sara Oliveira is a biomedical engineer, specialized in tissue engineering and with 10 years of experience with additive manufacturing. Four of those were applied to food engineering in the Food Processing and Nutrition Group at the INL (Portugal).

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) is the first Intergovernmental Organisation in Europe in the fields of Nanotechnology and Nanoscience. It is the result of a joint decision of the Governments of Portugal and Spain. Aiming to become a vital part of Europe’s scientific area, the INL provides a state of the art research environment addressing major challenges in nanomedicine, nanotechnology applied to environmental & food control, nanoelectronics, and nanomachines and molecular manipulation at the nanoscale. The INL seeks to advance the boundaries of knowledge in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, developing and transforming the associated technologies, through research and innovation, human capital development, and collaborative work, for the discovery of new knowledge and the creation of societal value and wealth.

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