Close to the height of meals 3D printing hype, circa 2014, one European undertaking garnered a great deal of consideration for its thrilling work in meals fabrication The PERFORMANCE undertaking, which started in January 2012 and final for 3 years after, sought to develop meals 3D printing know-how so as to serve the one in 5 Europeans affected by dysphagia, chewing and swallowing difficulties.
Although the undertaking was a novel one, which paired with fascinating pictures of meals objects made by undertaking chief Biozoon, the tip results of the PERFORMANCE by no means appeared fairly clear. To be taught extra, we reached out to Matthias Kück, proprietor of Biozoon, and Pascal de Grood, Director of FoodJet, one of many main industrial companions within the initiative.
From an out of doors perspective, the partnership between Biozoon and FoodJet appeared like an apparent one for tackling the swallowing issues of over 10 million aged folks in Europe. On the one hand, Biozoon is a specialist meals firm that makes merchandise to be used in molecular gastronomy, aged care and sports activities drinks and gels. This consists of texturizers used to make comfortable meals extra interesting for nursing dwelling residents. FoodJet, then again, is a producer of large-scale, industrial meals jetting programs, used for adorning and filling a variety of meals, from frosting on donuts to sauce on pizza.
To realize its purpose of an industrial meals 3D printing know-how for folks with dysphagia, Biozoon developed a particular meals powder formulation to solidify purees. Kück defined that the problem was to create a gelling agent that begins solidifying inside three seconds, from the time that the liquid meals leaves the print head and lands on the plate earlier than subsequent layers are printed. “If it solidifies too quick, one will get the impact of laminated dough. If it’s to gradual, the second layer destroys the primary layer,” Kück mentioned.
For its half, FoodJet had been performing one thing akin to meals 3D printing since 2004 or 2005 however selected to not consult with it as such in order to not conflate its industrial scale know-how with the small chocolate 3D printers which might be in the marketplace. The method appears like a large inkjet printer, through which the ink has been changed with viscous, edible elements.
Whereas different giant meals deposition processes normally contain a single go under a deposition head, FoodJet is able to printing a number of layers on high of one another, with a number of colours and a excessive diploma of accuracy. Whereas this offers the corporate an edge within the industrial meals enterprise, printing up numerous layers remains to be troublesome.
Along with the difficulty of increase many layers, the PERFORMANCE group labored to beat the natural nature of meals. The printing course of depends on digital information, however, Kück identified, “Meals is a pure product; it’s by no means homogeneous. We skilled variations in printing whether or not a cauliflower got here from Germany, Italy or Poland. Additionally, the standard performed a task: low-cost frozen vegetable has a a lot larger water content material, than natural high quality meals.”
The companions did create an industrial prototype, however, in the long run, determined that the know-how was not prepared at an industrial scale and a enterprise case couldn’t be made to develop it additional. De “Sadly the enterprise mannequin didn’t actually translate right into a enterprise case for FoodJet to develop that individual machine, which was comparatively low capability and likewise supplied comparatively low added worth to the merchandise that have been made,” de Grood mentioned.
Nonetheless, the PERFORMANCE undertaking did inform some subsequent work. For example, Prtin2Taste GmbH was spun out to commercialize the Procusini model of small meals extrusion 3D printers. In the meantime, FoodJet has commercialized a meals 3D printing system particularly for industrial scale chocolate 3D printing. We are going to observe up this story with extra on FoodJet’s distinctive chocolate printing know-how in a subsequent article.
Personalized, simply digestible meals for seniors is probably not across the nook, however the know-how is there. Within the meantime, Biozoon nonetheless manufactures texturizers for solidifying liquified meals and people with a candy tooth might be able to order customized, 3D-printed candies inside the subsequent couple of years.
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