3D Printing of Food for People with Swallowing Difficulties

Dysphagia affects many people worldwide. Modifying foods to standard consistencies, and manual design and assembly of foods for the daily requirements of people with dysphagia is challenging. People with dysphagia may develop a dislike for pureed foods due to the unattractiveness of the appearance of the foods, the lack of variety in daily meals, and the diluted taste of meals. Three-dimensional (3D) food printing is emerging as a method for making foods for people with special mealtime needs. Very few efforts have been made to apply 3D food printing to improving the lives of people with special mealtime needs such as those with dysphagia. This paper presents the design and 3D printing of visually appetizing pureed foods for people with dysphagia with high consistency and repeatability. A tuna fish involving pureed tuna (protein), pureed pumpkin (fruit), and pureed beetroot (vegetable) is designed and then 3D printed. The steps involved in the design of tuna fish, preparation of purees, and printing of tuna fish are described. The obtained results are presented, and the findings of this research work are discussed.