The EU-funded project 3D-NANOFOOD is focused on advancing frontiers in personalised foods for seniors through nanotechnology and 3D printing.
Healthy ageing requires healthy eating habits. Nevertheless, older adults are vulnerable to malnutrition, mainly due to chronic diseases, psychological disorders, dental problems and decreased appetite. It is important to develop new personalised strategies which offer a more pleasant eating experience with better nutritional value.
3D-NANOFOOD project proposes a combination of promising techniques to manufacture personalised foods, including 3D printing, food enrichment, and nano-delivery systems. 3D printing is a versatile and emerging technology to manufacture food in a fast way, and at the same time to develop products with personalised texture and/or special nutrition needs.
Food enrichment with functional compounds, such as flavourings and bioactive compounds, can improve the quality of printed foods. Flavourings can reinforce the taste or smell of printed foods, making them more palatable, and bioactive compounds can enhance the health-promoting properties of food.
However, the process of food fortification entails technological challenges, that affect the food attributes. At INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, we are tackling this question using nanoparticles to protect the performance of functional compounds. The final goal of 3D-NANOFOOD is to provide innovative and feasible strategies to manufacture personalised foods for older adults, enhancing both nutritional functionality and sensory characteristics.