FoodPrompt: smart technologies to help combat malnutrition

22 May 2023

Corporate Communication and Alumni Relations Center (CCARC)

               Researchers at CMU have developed ‘FoodPrompt’ – smart technologies for personalized nutrition support and food fabrication that can create food using a 3D food printer and comes with an application that allows users to select the food’s flavours and shapes, suitable for people with malnutrition, especially vulnerable groups (i.e. elderly patients).
Approaching old age brings about changes in several dimensions, particularly health, in which changes are most apparent. The elderly have a high risk of suffering from malnutrition due to multiple factors, from reduced appetite, the inability to eat, malabsorption, changes in the body systems or even socio-economic changes. It is a condition that can be overlooked by many and does not get treated in time, causing serious consequences. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the elderly are getting enough nutrients.

               The FoodPrompt project won the Outstanding Invention Award at the National Research Award 2023 in the IT and Communication Arts category, receiving prize money worth 150,000 baht and a certificate from the National Research Council of Thailand as recognition of national contribution. Associate Professor Dr. Wassanai Wattanutchariya, lecturer at the Industrial Engineering Department and Assistant to the Dean at CMU Faculty of Engineering, led the research team on production technology and advanced management comprised of Panat Jetsadaphon, M.D., Assistant Professor Dr. Karn Patanukhom, Assistant Professor Dr. Jakarin Chawachat, Assistant Professor Dr. Akkasit Jongjareonrak, Associate Professor Dr. Supat Jiranusornkul, Professor Dr. Radom Pongvuthithum, Assistant Professor Dr. Wetchayan Rangsri, Dr. Faifan Tantakitti, and Dr. Wipawadee Yooin.

              FoodPrompt or Smart Technologies for Personalized Nutrition Support and Food Fabrication is a platform developed by an interdisciplinary team to integrate technological applications in different fields to address the needs of people with malnutrition, focusing on vulnerable elderly patients. This platform is unique in that it has a nutritional assessment system that creates personalised food using IoT. For consumption analysis, it has an integrated AI system that is capable of identifying the types of food, ingredient quantity, and consumption quantity, and comparing them to the essential nutrients from users’ health database. These data are then linked to the developed food fabrication system that is designed to give a high amount of nutrients, suitable for the target group. Thanks to the 3D food printer and the application that allows users to select the flavours and shapes, patients can get enough nutrients while enjoying their high-nutrient food that comes in various flavours. Naturally, this will allow for a comprehensive take on malnutrition that addresses the target group’s needs. FoodPrompt is CMU’s mark of pride in producing research that can translate into practice, solidifying CMU’s status as a university of innovation.