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3D food printer could solve food problems in space and on Earth

US space agency NASA is funding engineering firm Anjan Contractor with $125,000 over six months to develop the 3D printing of foods. Advocates of 3D printing technology say deriving long-life foods from alternative ingredients could help solve the problem of feeding astronauts and ease food shortages on Earth.

Manned space missions require stocks of non-perishable foods. 3D printing could be a promising solution to the problem of feeding crews.

Traditional food sources perish easily, but proteins, vitamins, fibers, and carbohydrates can be derived from alternative nutrient sources like insects, grasses, algae and seeds. Stored as powders, they can last for years. When combined with sugars and oils, nutritionally dense foods can be created layer by layer.

The technology is already used to build complex machine parts and furniture.


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