A 3D printed drumstick can be made to look, smell and even taste a bit like a chicken even when it is made from vegetable puree (Credit: Biozoon) As we age our nutritional needs change, but our taste buds and appetites also deaden, limiting what many older people eat. Is it possible to make food better for the elderly? It looked like a golden roasted chicken drumstick. The smell wafting up from the plate in front of a dozen hungry senior citizens was of chicken too. When they dug in with their knives and forks, it even tasted loosely like one. Except that it was not chicken at all. What this group of elderly nursing home residents in Germany were tucking into was puree, printed into the shape of a drumstick. Each “chicken leg” – actually formed from vegetable paste shaped by a 3D printer and given a more pleasurable texture than ordinary puree – was tweaked to match the nutritional needs of the individual elderly diners. The group, who first ate this “not-chicken” meal in taste tests five years ago, were the participants of an innovative food project in Europe, named “Performance”, which explored whether 3D printed food […]

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