3D printing of food

Project team: Gael Delamare
Member Funded Research project
Running: September 2018 - September 2019
Project number: 146283

3D printing of food is a rapidly growing technology and new printers are now becoming available that can be used for various types of food materials. However, little is known about which food materials and shapes can be 3D printed, the speed and efficiency of printing and the practical aspects of cleaning 3D printers.

Reviewing 3D printing technology, conducting practical trials and developing new personalised products using 3D printing, and evaluating and mitigating 3D printing challenges and limitations

We have initially screened different food materials that could be 3D printed, and evaluated the impact of rheology on their printability. We then modified the rheology of carrot and pea purees and Viennese whirl biscuits to try and improve their printability. We developed a predictive model to identify how to modify the carrot puree to optimise its printability.

We assessed the potential of personalised nutrition through protein and fibre enhancement of 3D printed Viennese whirls. We studied the production costs of 3D printed butter icing cake toppings compared to a manual piping in an artisan bakery. A consumer panel was surveyed to understand consumers’ attitude towards 3D printed food and predict 3D printed food purchase.

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