With the continuously
evolving world, the human lifestyle is changing frequently with people getting busier
day by day.

According to a survey done by
Julie Guthman, Professor of community studies at University of California,
people are too busy and stressed out that they don’t even bother to cook their
own meals. Grabbing something quick to eat from fast food restaurants has
become the most convenient way and that saves time.  A daily mail article states that as at 2015
the number of people who skip breakfast in the UK has doubled over three years.

However, complicated health problems arise as a result of
this habit. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee of US collected
research on skipping breakfast which suggested that breakfast skippers may be
more likely to gain weight. As a result, people have shown interest within the
past few years in leading a healthy lifestyle as observed in the force field
analysis. (Refer Appendix 02)With
the world population estimated to reach 9.8 billion by 2050 (GSA 2015), future food production systems will need to adapt and
expand accordingly. Especially since some experts believe production rates need
to increase by 50 percent before 2050 to maintain current levels. Thus it is
clear that sustainability has become a necessity. With the continuous evolution of technology,
3D food printing has surfaced solving many of these basic problems faced by
people. 3D food printing is
an emerging and a developing technology with abundant research going on. It is
a mechanism which involves depositing of layers of material in a process known
as additive manufacturing.
3D food printers are also an “internet
of things” appliance – which means that it can be connected to the
internet, and recipes and designs can be uploaded from anywhere. Food printer
provides a platform for consumer experimentation with various forms of food and
flavors (Yang et al, 2015).

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China and
UK are the current leading manufacturers of food printers. The latest
generation of 3D food printers is much more complicated, combining
nozzles, powdery material, lasers, and robotic arms to make sugar sculptures,
patterned chocolate, and latticed pastry.

Many
restaurants are already picking up this concept. Paco Pérez, the executive chef
at two-Michelin-starred restaurant Miramar in Spain is already experimenting
and putting 3D food into practice and finds it very effective and amazing to
achieve greater levels of perfection, unattainable in the case of using human
skills.

Benefits of 3D food
printing

3D food printing allows the
user to make individualized meals with precise measurement of nutrition,
calories, flavors and designs with minimal effort, enhancing convenience by
saving time, effort, space and many other resources. Many experts believe that
the global food shortage crisis can be effectively addressed through 3D food
printing. Nursing
homes in Europe are offering 3D
printed food with jelly-like texture for residents with chewing and
swallowing difficulties (The conversation, 2016).

In the context of
restaurants, a large part of their costs are represented by raw material. With
the inventory being more perishable a lot of attention needs to be given as
well as costs need to be incurred with regard to inventory management.

3D
Food Printing offers the following benefits revolutionizing the restaurant
industry, making a huge impact on it. (Refer Appendix 03)

· Cheaper and easier management of inventory as the food will
be prepared based on demand.

 

· Reduction of raw material costs.

· Minimize wastage by using only the required amount of raw materials
to make food in the exact proportion desired by the customer.

 

· Enhanced creativity as it allows printing of various
designs such as sculptures.

 

· Ability to make use of the upcoming trends of healthy
eating as 3D food printing allows to adjust the nutrients, portion size and
calorie content according to the customer desires.

 

·New potential
product lines such as food cartridges made by special chefs and sharing of
digital recipes.

·Reduced workload resulting to enhanced productivity in the
kitchen.

How 3D food printing enhances sustainability-

·        
3D printed meat, as
being trialed by professors at the Maastricht University, Netherlands, stand to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 96%, while utilizing just 1% of the land,
45% of the energy and just 4% of the water as compared to conventional beef
production.

·        
Lesser transport costs
since most of the food can be 3D printed locally.

As analyzed in Appendix 02, there are very less
significant resistors for 3D food printing, the main obstacle being the
printing process being time consuming and the ingredients having to be
converted into a paste before the printer manipulates them. Cultural beliefs
about what kinds of matter are considered tasty and appropriate to eat were
central in participants responses in the survey conducted regarding 3D printed
food. (The conversation, 2016)

2.2 Changes in the
supply chain.

In
general, the supply chain of the restaurant industry tend to be extensive and
complex. The reasons being,

Ø 
The
raw materials being perishable requiring effective management for proper use.

Ø 
The
need to obtain safe and quality ingredients at an affordable price.

Ø 
Large
number of direct suppliers that deliver the raw material to the restaurants.

Ø 
Large
number of indirect suppliers (companies or farmers that grow or process the
ingredients that are eventually delivered to the direct suppliers.)

As a result, effective supply chain management has become
costly for the restaurants.

Supply chain management has traditionally been
viewed as a process where raw materials are converted into finished goods
(Srivastava 2007). However, end to end visibility of the supply chain and
transparency are specifically considered as important factors for restaurants’ supply
chain. Traceability is crucial in helping restaurants,
farmers and food processors meet FSMA requirements, mitigate recalls and food-born
illness outbreaks, meet consumer demand and support clean eating trends. (Scott
Saunders, senior vice president, supply chain integration, HAVI.) 22% of manufacturers
predict 3D Printing will have a disruptive effect on supply chains

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