SAR – Media
OutReach – 18 January 2022 – Hong Kong Technology Startup, Alt Farm,
one of the startup incubators of the HKUST Entrepreneurship Center, today
announced the debut of the first-ever 3D food printing technology for high-quality
and creative food with the patented nozzle design in Asia that achieves a level
of product quality comparable to high-quality dessert, plant-based food, resulting in a far more efficient, sustainable, and
ethical way to create foods without compromising on quality.
From left to right: Christy Cheung, Prof.
Marshal Liu, Kenny Fung, Joanna Hui
Having the startup idea in 2019, three HKUST
alumni Kenny Fung, Christy Cheung and Joanna Hui have developed
3D food printing technology with its mission to expand the application of 3D food
printing for different kinds of food through chemical processing. They started
Alt Farm with their own 3D printer with bio-reacting nozzle and will continue
to work on biochemical engineering research and collaborate with the Hong Kong
University of Science and Technology (HKUST) to incorporate 3D food printing
technology for other traditional food with the support from Prof. Marshal Liu, Associate Professor of
Engineering Education of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
With its first patent granted on December 28, 2021,
Alt Farm specializes in carrying out specific enzymatic reaction in the nozzle
to generate the fibrous texture of foods. On top of the traditional 3D food
printing on altering temperature profile, the patent nozzle could facilitate
chain aggregation and gelation to mimic different kinds of food in constructing
different 3D structure. Their target is to mimic fibrous structure in food with
the help of economical scaled 3D printing technologies, and this would be
achieved with the help of the HKUST Bioengineering team.
Many countries see rising demand for plant-based
or vegan meat alternatives for health and sustainability concerns.
According to a Gallup study,
41 percent of Americans have tried plant-based meats and 60 percent of those
respondents say they were likely to continue eating them. Growing consumer
awareness about the harmful effects of traditional meat production has led Alt
Farm to explore sustainable ways to produce meat without causing harm to
animals and the environment. To keep up with the booming needs of consumers, Alt
Farm will extend the use of technology to other traditional food without
compromising the food’s original texture and taste.