Media Corner

Final Press Release (20 Oct. 2015)

PERFORMANCE_Press Release_English


First 3D Printed Full Meal: A New Nutrition Concept for the Elderly

This week, the 14 consortium partners of the 3 mil. EUR EU funded project PERFORMANCE presented the first 3D printed full meal in Brussels. It is part of an entire new nutrition concept for elderly suffering from swallowing and masticating difficulties.

Brussels, 16 October 2015 / Vienna 20 October 2015 – A stroke or dementia can lead to chewing and swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia. Since the ‘mash-type’ meals served are mostly unappealing and nutritionally inadequate they result in loss of appetite and finally in serious nutrient deficiency, malnutrition, dehydration and in some cases even to death. The PERFORMANCE (which stands for Personalised Food for the Nutrition of Elderly Consumers) consortium, led by the German company Biozoon, has created an innovative food concept that considers a personalised diet for persons suffering e.g. of dysphagia. Purreed and strained food is brought back into its original shape, providing the same texture and look, and provide additional health benefits.

Each meal is individually enriched

Depending on body size, weight, gender, and health the general nutritional state of a person is highly individual. Each PERFORMANCE meal is nutritionally enriched according to the consumer’s personal needs.

The PERFORMANCE concept itself initially started from the smoothfood concept of project coordinator Biozoon. Director Matthias Kück states: “I see a growing demand of personalised nutrition concepts against the background of an aging population and also changing lifestyles.”

The challenges of printing liquid food in 3D

“Printed pureed food needs to be firm after printing, but liquid enough to dispense from the printing heads”, Pascal de Grood (Foodjet, Netherlands) explains the core difficulty in the project. “We use a printing technology based on jet printing. A gelling agent supports the shaping of the pureed and strained food. On the one hand the gelling agent needs to be compatible with the printing system, while on the other hand the printing system must support food matrices such as meat, carbohydrate and vegetables.” Special recipes have been developed in collaboration with the German partners Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf and Biozoon.

Nursing Home Chef de Cuisine aspires to Natural Ingredients

Nursing home chef de cuisine and inventor of smoothfood Herbert Thill (Altenpflegeheim Christkönig, Germany) supported the scientists in the development of the recipes including consistency issues, the IT ordering system, and the plate design. The use of natural ingredients and a natural texturizer guarantee that the meals look and taste like traditional meals. The addition of further nutrients – mostly vitamins and minerals – can be adjusted on a weekly basis to support a permanent balanced diet.

Logistics and Packaging

The mass production of personalised tailor made meals requires special needs to the packaging and ordering system. As the core of the IT-based ordering system the German IT company Sanalogic programmed an algorithm, which monitors the nutritional status of each patient and automatically enriches the meals of subsequent orders on a weekly basis. To avoid the hot and cold spots when heating food in the microwave the Danish Technological Institute and Italian partners FEMTO and University of Pisa developed a split plate with perforated micro-wave reflectors placed on top and underneath it. Even the customer at home can heat the unpacked plate up in a household microwave.

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For press / interview inquiries please contact:

Matthias Kück (Coordinator PERFORMANCE Project)

Managing Director

Biozoon Food Innovations GmbH

Fischkai 1, 27572 Bremerhaven, Germany

Tel. +49 (0)471 92 92 85 0

Mobile: +49-471-163-4832503


Ellen Fethke (Dissemination Manager PERFORMANCE Project)

Senior Consultant

Dr. Stephen Webb, RTD Services e.U.

Lerchengasse 25/2-3, 1080 Vienna, Austria

Tel. +43 (0)1 323 1000 14



1st Press Release (Nov. 2012):

Performance_1st Press Release


A quantum leap in the diet of elderly people

3 Mill EUR EU funding enables development of appealing personalised food

Bremerhaven, Germany – October 2012. Since the days of her youth Erna M.’s favourite meal was stuffed beef roulade with carrots and mashed potatoes. Even today, at the age of 65, Erna is happy to choose this meal from her nursing home menu. However, this choice was not always apparent. After a stroke in her sixties, Erna began to suffer from masticating and swallowing problems: and her loss of appetite became a major worry for her carers. Fortunately, her nursing home implemented a new diet concept called “smoothfood”. This concept considers the concerns of patients like Erna and elderly people experiencing chewing and swallowing difficulties. The mission behind ‘smoothfood’ is to present visually appealing meals. These meals use natural ingredients which are pureed. The use of a natural texturizer means these meals look and taste like traditional meals. In addition, nutritious ingredients can be added to support a balanced diet.

By using so-­‐called smoothfood products, nursing homes and home cares can prepare meals that allow patients -­‐ with masticating difficulties; the pleasure of a nutritious meal. However, even when ‘smoothfood’ meals are produced, a number of problems still remain. One in particular is how to personalise these eating experiences so patients receive a sufficient supply of nutrients while experiencing a high level of care.

The PERFORMANCE (Development of PERsonalized FOod using Rapid MAnufacturing for the Nutrition of elderly ConsumErs) project has secured a 3 Million Euro grant from the European Commission to deliver an interdisciplinary research programme to develop the ‘smoothfood’ concept (initiated by Biozoon). The project seeks to create an innovative food concept that considers the diet and personalised eating experiences of frail and elderly patients and patients who are experiencing masticating and swallowing problems. An objective for the PERFORMANCE project is to develop a varied and balanced diet for such patients. As part of the project objective project partners will work closely with a number of nursing homes. Data will be collected on how patients experience meal times and also how the ‘smoothfood’ products may have changed these experiences.

Through the development of advanced production and packaging technologies it will be possible to produce personalised/tailor made meals (and other dishes) on an industrial scale. These meals will be personalised for the needs of each individual patient and delivered in special packaging for easy and quick preparation. An outcome for the project is to see patients return to a normal and healthy diet promoting the positive aspects of experiencing a personalised and well-­‐balanced nutrient diet.

Developed under their product line seneoPro® the company Biozoon Food Innovations GmbH (based in Bremerhaven) have successfully marketed the ‘Smoothfood’ concept. Presently they are the market leader in the development of such products. ‘Smoothfood’ is now being used with great interest across nursing homes throughout Germany.

The official Kick-­‐Off meeting of the ‘PREFORMANCE’ Project was on the 5/6th November 2012. This meeting took place at the Fischereihafen in Bremerhaven. The meeting to launch this three-­‐year project was coordinated by Biozoon Food Innovations GmbH in Bremerhaven.

For press / interview inquiries please contact:

RTD Services (RTDS) – Lerchengasse 25/2-3, 1080 Vienna, Austria.



Funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union, FP7 – Knowledge based Bio-Economy, Collaborative Project,
Grant agreement number: 312092, KBBE.2012.2.3-04 – Personalised approaches to food production and distribution.
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