Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd aims to develop advanced food
manufacturing technologies by combining expertise in food, material
science and 3D printing technology. Healthy snacks with great textures
are in increasing demand among consumers. Researchers have the long-term
vision of developing high-tech vending machines that provide customised
Today's consumer expects healthy, nutritious
food with added elements such as design, pleasure and even playfulness.
Self-production would enable customisation in addition to these. 3D
printing technology offers new opportunities to realise such
In its initial trials, VTT tested starch and
cellulose-based materials for 3D food prototypes. It is also working on
printability of protein concentrates of both plant (oat and faba bean)
and dairy (whey protein) origin.
"However, a great deal of work
is needed in order to proceed to industrial-scale production. Equipment
needs to be developed in addition to materials. Such equipment could be
developed for domestic 3D food printing as well as vending machines,"
says Nesli Sözer, Principal Scientist at VTT.
is an important driver of the taste perception of many food products,
and is behind many successful innovations. Brands are creatively
combining textures with features such as crispy inclusions, soft centres
and extra-crunchy toppings. 3D printing technology will enable the
layer-by-layer manufacture of various structures, from crispy to soft
gels that produce a distinctive mouthfeel.
The 3D food printing is an emerging and developing technology, with a great deal of active research ongoing.
Creating ingredient mixes with flow properties
new Tekes-funded project coordinated by VTT in collaboration with the
Aalto University targets at 3D printing of multi-textural food
structures in a techno-economically feasible and sustainable way.
specific aim of the partners is to create new ingredient mixes with
suitable flow properties for 3D processing. The project will develop
globally competitive expertise in 3D food printing technologies with
subsequent technology innovations to be utilized by Finnish industries
from various sectors such as ingredient, food processing, equipment
manufacturing, software and online services and retail.
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