Researchers at the University of Foggia in Italy have used 3D printers to mould vegetables into child-friendly shapes in an experiment to boost consumption of healthy produce in primary schools.
A team of academics created a mixture of blended banana, white beans, mushrooms and milk, and used a 3D printer to turn it into an octopus-shaped snack, the Independent reported.
Lead author professor Carla Severini said that the results, published in the Journal of Food Engineering, were a mark of where the future was heading, with experts believing that the 3D printing of food could become the norm in restaurants, schools and homes.
“This snack was based on ingredients that are sources of iron, calcium and vitamin D,” Severini told the Times. “Some of these are not appreciated by children, but in the shape of an octopus [it’s different].”
“Other examples are with fish and cauliflower, two ingredients traditionally rejected by children,” she added. “Also we are investigating printed snacks based on insects, which are very rich in terms of protein but absolutely rejected by western people.”