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Cape Town Designers Reduce Waste by 3D Printing “Ugly” Fruit and Veg

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Jun 11, 2018

Studio H is a multidisciplinary design studio which developed a 3D printing project to transform “ugly” fruit and vegetables (often thrown out due to their appearance) into snacks which are both interesting shapes and very nutritious. 

How often do you reach for the perfect looking fruit and veg when you’re in the supermarket? We’re all at least a little guilty of this and, according to the Guardian, research suggests that as a result, half of all US food produce is thrown away.

Not only is this a huge waste of money, it’s also very bad for the planet and is leaving people hungry. To try and combat this, Studio H, a South African based multidisciplinary design studio, came up with an interesting 3D printing project.

The studio creates “experiences through the lens of food” so they were the perfect people to use technology to encourage us to eat unappealing food. In issue 5 of the studio’s magazine — called CHIPS! — the focus is on “Ugly.”

The magazine points out that quality is often equated with visual perfection rather than taste or nutrition. To help change this, they transformed “ugly” food into something more appealing to consumers. Essentially, creating a nutritional dish which is much more aesthetically appealing than a bashed and bruised apple.

Salad 2.0 – Vegetable Puree and Gelatine

The studio forsees the future of ready-to-eat meals as “cartridges of food printed into shapes determined by downloadable designs.”

Studio H also explains that 44% of all food wasted is fruit and vegetables. By “rebranding” these foods, we could see a healthier population with less waste. To test out this theory, they designed a proof-of-concept called Salad 2.0.

The studio first took the “ugliest” looking fruits and veggies they could find and cooked these down to create purees. To this, they added gelatine so the puree would be printable and hold together.

They next 3D printed the puree/gelatine concoction into a range of attractive shapes. As well as being nice to look at, the shapes also offer a lot of nutritional content. Impressively, with this method, on just one plate you’ll have your entire recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fruits and vegetables.

They hope that in the near future, consumers will be able to print food customized to their dietary needs. The studio adds: “Imagine serving these to children who don’t want to eat their fruit and veg.” (Which has been done before and previously covered by All3DP).

Find out more about the studio by visit their website, or check out CHIPS! magazine for more images of transformed veggies.

Source: CHIPS!

License: The text of "Cape Town Designers Reduce Waste by 3D Printing “Ugly” Fruit and Veg" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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