Armed with a 3D printer filled with food paste (yum!), a team of MIT engineers revealed how the shape and arrangement of foods can trick our brains into feeling more or less satisfied after a meal. For instance, the engineers found that we may perceive a food “printed” in a more complex shape that does not stack as efficiently in a serving container as being more filling than the same amount of food printed with a denser, less intricate shape.
Also, a more porous print was deemed more satisfying than a condensed print. That’s because the porous option not only took up more space but required longer to chew than something that could be consumed in fewer bites. Of course, we are a long way off from 3D printers being as common as microwaves in kitchens, but perhaps companies could start to use this information to shape everything from cheese puffs to pastries in ways that fool our brains into practicing better portion control. Then again, that could hurt their bottom line.
See also: Healthy Food: Seeing Is Believing
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