If you are a netizen that wanders around the internet in search of something exciting, 3D printing must have caught your attention at one time or another. We’ve all seen the 3D printing videos that pop-up on our feeds and show us how characters, keychains and more can be 3D printed. However, 3D printing is by no means limited only to simple things as the UK-based startup Nourish3d is said to have launched world’s first 3D printed vitamin stack that is tailored as per your requirements.
The British startup by Melissa Snover, an Americal serial women entrepreneurs, Nourished is a customisable and personalised nutritional product, which is said to be the world’s first 3D printed edible vitamin stack. It is being introduced in the UK market and consumers will get to choose their favourite vitamins and supplements on the Nourished website by either answering a short lifestyle questionnaire or by simply selecting their own choice of vitamins. Once an order is placed, the startup 3D prints their selection on-demand in the form of chewable stacks. These stacks are said to cost less than conventional vitamins, are less wasteful, and work better.
Melissa Snover, founder and CEO of Nourished, says, “Nourished takes 3D Printing to another level. We’ve kept a keen eye on how consumer demand is driving personalisation across various sectors – from retail to health – and then apply it to nutrition. We’re bringing a truly unique product to the UK market that will change the way consumers think about their nutrition, in much the same way wearable technology has disrupted the personal health market. Nourished is personalised and specific to the individual, is sugar-free, plastic-free, vegan and will be delivered straight to your door. It is the first product in the market to offer such a highly-personalised nutritional solution that everyone can benefit from and it’s our hope that Nourished will transform the way people think about wellness and take care of themselves from the inside out.”
How does it work?
Employing a new 3D printing method and patented vegan encapsulation formula, Nourished is able to combine 7 active ingredients from 28 choices. This means that a user has over 1.2 billion unique combinations to select from and in addition, a new nourishment will be added in about two weeks so that the 7 active ingredients are bumped up to 8. 3D food printing enables the startup to create a chewable vitamin stack that is personalised to an individual’s nutritional needs.
It took 18 months of research and development by CFO Melissa Snover and CTO Martyn Catchpole to come up with a patented 3D printing technology that Nourished employs. Using fused deposition modelling and seven print heads, the duo created an industrial 3D printer that is capable of printing personalised supplements. Like all 3D printers, the one used by Nourished also works on the standard X, Y and Z axis, along with an addition four-rotation axis. Furthermore, it uses a plug and play cartridge retraction system.
About 98 percent of active ingredients used by Nourished are gathered from UK based wholefood sources and are encapsulated in their patented vegan gel formula. As per the company, the nutrients are higher in efficacy and more readily absorbed by the body than most traditional options that are in an isolate tablet form. Since Nourished enables users to create specifically designed blends, fitness enthusiasts can focus on supplementing their diets to boost endurance and recovery, while frequent travellers can boost their immunity, vegans can supplement with Vegan D3 and Iron which can be low in their diet.
Nourished is making its debut in the UK and its availability is currently limited to the country itself. The product can be ordered online, via the company’s website and it costs £39.99 per month, which boils down to £1.20 per day. Do note that everything made by Nourished is claimed to be 100 percent vegan and 98 percent of their inventory is sourced from the UK.
Nourished developed a sugar-free vegan encapsulation formula which enables a combination of multiple active ingredients that don’t interfere with each other. Vegan and allergen-free, the Nourished base formula is made of natural fruit and vegetable extracts that use pectin as a gelling agent. After 3d printing, the stacks are said to set in minutes and are ready to be coated in sugar free erythritol and malic acid, before packed into plastic free and home compostable packaging.
Funding and expansion plans
3D printers are not in-expensive, especially if you have one that is modified to print food in a manner to your liking. To support its vision, Nourished did a seed round where it achieved its set target and the startup has six strategic angels onboard that not only provide cash but will also help the company with their network and experience, which is expected to be beneficial in the long term. As for external funding, Nourished says it is open to opportunities and funding from strategic investors that are a correct fit for them.
As for expansion, the company has plans to soon expand its services to regions other than the UK. The second market where it has plans to establish is the US, followed by the Middle East.
Melissa’s journey so far
Melissa Snover is the leading force behind Nourished and her story of becoming a woman entrepreneur in the UK is an interesting one. With an aim to study at Lancaster Business School for her masters, Snover started a company as a part of her program that employed two or three people and as a result, she received an extension on her UK visa from the government.
While it was technically an accident, the school project set Snover on a path where she would go on to become the founder of two more companies before coming up with Nourished. Talking about women in entrepreneurship, Snover says, “I think UK tech founders who are female is relatively rare still, which is a shame. Also, if someone is so silly as to underestimate you, use it to your advantage and teach them a lesson in a professional way and push forward in a positive way. Because if we all just keep going back and forth, nothing will happen in the right way. If we all want to go forward as a society, men and women both have to work together as equals.”
Image credits: Nourished
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