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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions on the topic of personalised nutrition and consumer engagement.
Image with FAQ to represent Frequently Asked Questions

In this section you will find an answer to frequently asked questions related to the topic of personalised nutrition and consumer engagement.

1. What is personalised nutrition?

Personalised nutrition refers to tailored nutritional recommendations aimed at the promotion and maintenance of health and wellbeing; and prevention against disease. These recommendations take into account differential responses to certain individualized food-derived nutrients and biological processes.

2. What is nutritional genomics?

Nutritional Genomics is the field of research where traditional nutrition meets modern genomic knowledge, in order to develop personalised nutrition and lifestyle programs to prevent disease. Nutritional genomics covers nutrigenomics, the science that studies the effect of nutrients on the expression of our genes; and nutrigenetics, the science that studies how our individual SNP’s modify our genetic response to the diet. Both sciences work together and their results can help us live longer and healthier lives.

3. What is 3D printing?

Traditional food processing typically began with a recipe, which contained a list of ingredients and a description of procedures of how to transform these ingredients into the final foods. 3D food printing is radically different in the sense that it constructs foods point by point and layer by layer. Typically, it starts from a recipe similar to traditional food processing, but the recipe now also includes detailed instructions for the food printer to move the printer head from position to position and from layer to layer.

4. What is the major challenge for 3D food printing.?

3D food printing faces several challenges but speed is the major issue. The typical speed of 3D food printing is orders of magnitude smaller than the typical speed of the traditional food processing line. Also, the fact that often you need to post-process your construct takes additional time, and it would be much more convenient if you could integrate the post-processing into the actual printing process.

5. What values does 3D food printing offer the food sector?

3D printing has the potential to transform the food industry, not because of the fun shapes that can be produced, although this is going to be a niche market also in the future, but mainly because of personalization. 3D printed food can be personalized in terms of shape and flavor, but also in terms of health components. Looking ahead to the future 3D foods printing with the appropriate software that takes into account a consumer’s personal health records or maybe their latest blood analysis, to manipulate the composition or the content of health-promoting the components in the 3D printed foods, can contribute to long term health benefits in individuals.

6. What ingredients can be used for 3D printing?

A wide range of food sources including insects, vegetables and animal by-products can be used for food printing. Ingredients can be classified into: (1) Liquids: performed via extrusion or inkject processes; (2) Powders: printed by deposition followed by application of a heat source (laser or hot air) or a particle binder; and (3) Cell cultures: deposition of cell cultures, also known as bioprinting, is a technique applied to print meat analogue. The food material used must be flowable during layer deposition whilst ensuring and maintaining high mechanical strength. The flowability can be achieved by ensuring that the food material is made of small-size particle but also by plasticization and melting. The self-supporting structure or high mechanical strength is achieved by the reverse process or by gelation. In order to ensure both flowable food material and a high mechanical strength in all of the layers, shear-thinning food inks is used.

7. What is “edible growth”?

3D printers can print foods that do not exist in nature. This is the case of the concept food called “edible growth” that is a self-contained, multi-ingredient food enriched with living edible plants and fungi that grow from them. This food should be produced by Fused Deposition Modelling applied to an edible matrix made of dried vegetables/fruits, nuts, or Agar. Successively, seeds of edible plants, spores of fungi, and yeast and bacterial cells are added to this nourishing matrix and covered with and edible film made of proteins or carbohydrates. Seeds and fungi use the matrix as a growing substrate. Within few days, plants and mushrooms grow up and the snack is ready to be eaten.

8. What is digital engagement?

Digital engagement is anything and everything that involves a communication; and uses digital tools and techniques to find, listen to and mobilize a community around an issue. In digital engagement, organisations often have relatively little control over the channels and messages being communicated. With digital engagement companies become more like living businesses, building and sustaining symbiotic ties with their customers.

9. What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality is an enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality. No special equipment is needed. The only integral accessory is the smartphone; and requirements is geolocation.

10. What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment. Virtual reality glasses is the equipment needed and a PC with support is also required.

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