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  • Writer's pictureIan Gaertner

Superfoods: Designing sustainable and personalised food

The Superfoods program is all about students exploring the future of food.

During the pre-work delivered at school, students explore the impact of the modern food industry on our planet. Students also gain an understanding of future food alternatives, their nutritional value and their environmental impact.

At the Tech School, students work towards creating a custom Spirulina Unit that grows, modifies and analyses spirulina. Students tailor the design of their Units to a specific customer and setting in the Monash area. To achieve this, students learn about Bioreactors, Bioprinting and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. To design their bioreactor, students explore ideal growing conditions for spirulina, including pH, light, temperature and water salinity. Students then build and test a functioning bioreactor. Bioprinting sees students use our modified 3D printers to print edible 3D objects. Mixing colours and scents with our custom spirulina and Kappa Carrageenan bio-ink mixture, students create a 3D-printed Sprinulina food item that appeals to their chosen customer. The HPLC rotation explores various scientific testing methods, including UV light fluorescence, paper chromatography, microscope analysis and HPLCS. Students use these tests to solve a mystery by analysing multiple samples and deducing which sample is 'contaminated’. They then consider how these tests may add value to their Spirulina Unit and benefit their customer.

Working in groups, students then use their knowledge of Bioreactors, Bioprinting and HPLCs to design a custom Sprinulina Unit. Students then pitch their products to their peers.

In 2022, Year 9 students from Wellington SC and Brentwood SC completed the Superfoods program.

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