3D foodprinting is a new way to create food products with unique quality aspects that can be fully personalised. It can make tangible contributions to people’s health and sustainable production in the future. TNO currently combines expertise in 3D printing technology with food science to create ultra-modern technology for the production of new food products.
TNO thereby generates new business opportunities for food ingredients, food products, process technologies and services. This helps the food industry in its constant search for food with unique textures, structure and ingredients.
3D printing is an innovative manufacturing process that builds up an object, layer by layer, directly from a 3D computer design in a variety of ways, for example through print technology or using lasers. These methods can be used for the production of objects from a simple type of material or from different materials as a composite product. In 3D foodprinting TNO uses this methods to create edible objects directly from food ingredients. Since food is a complex material this requires expertise from food sciences as well as improved manufacturing technologies.
3D foodprinting generates significant opportunities for the food industry.
- Personalisation: 3D foodprinting opens up the way to completely personalised food because it can make products that precisely fit the needs and preferences of individuals with respect to content, form, shape and taste. Think or sportsmen that need a personalized recovery product after a training, Seniors or patients with specific dietary needs or who have difficulty swallowing.
- Fun: 3D foodprinting offers a huge degree of freedom in terms of design. This applies not only to the 3D shape but also to the composition, structure, texture as well as taste. This makes it possible to develop unique new products that cannot be made using other methods or to change the formula, shape, structure or texture of existing products so that, for example, the taste experience remains the same yet the salt or sugar content is reduced.
- Convenience: the printer can ensure that your personalised meal is made at exactly the right moment so that when you come home, a fresh, healthy meal is waiting for you. This convenience can lead to flexible decentralised (local) production.
- Alternative nutritional sources: 3D foodprinting can help transform alternative ingredients like proteins from algae, beet leaves or insects, that are otherwise hard to process into tasty products with recognisable structures that are good not only for health but also for the environment. In addition, 3D foodprinting can make use of raw materials whose appearance would otherwise present an obstacle to their use.