Exploration of 3D food printing and its application for tailored military rations – Presented by Mary Scerra, US Army Natick Soldier Research

Mary Scerra

Exploration of 3D food printing and its application for tailored military rations – Presented by Mary Scerra, US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, at the 3D Food Printing Conference, Jun 28, Brightlands Campus, Villa Flora, Venlo, The Netherlands.

3D printing technology for food continues to advance. This technology uniquely offers customizability, which is as yet an unexploited advantage for fulfilling an individual’s preferences or specific nutritional needs. The potential relevance of this technology for application to military field feeding is currently being investigated.

Consumer judgements of the sensory characteristics and concept acceptability of 3D printed food were recently measured, showing both high approval of the product and general acceptance of the technology. While food, with its complex and varied composition and rheological behavior, is a relatively challenging media to 3D print, we have demonstrated that systematically modifying the material properties of the matrices aids in their printability.

Application of this technology to military field feeding could in the future provide highly tailored ration components that meet the Warfighter’s real-time nutritional needs and preferences. Furthermore, placement of 3D printers on or near the battlefield could be logistically beneficial by reducing reliance on typical thermostabilized ration components, which have a mandated 3 year shelf life, and in which quality can degrade over time. PAO# U18-146 Continue reading “Exploration of 3D food printing and its application for tailored military rations – Presented by Mary Scerra, US Army Natick Soldier Research”