3D Food Printing Conference 2016

Wageningen University & FrieslandCampina researching 3D printing of milk protein structures

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Wageningen University & FrieslandCampina 3D printing of milk protein

Related tags Nutrition

3D food printing gives academics an opportunity to explore the functionality of ingredients and how we can delay the process to get a solid structure and build challenging shapes, according to Dr Maarten Schutyser, professor, Food Process Engineering, Wageningen University.

Kicking off the 3D Food Printing Conference in Venlo, the Netherlands, this week (April 12) Schutyser said the university has partnered with FrieslandCampina to focus on 3D prototypes for milk protein structures. 

Fused Deposition Modeling

Its laboratory explores sodium caseinate printing with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technique. 

We are slowly learning more about 3D printing technology and it is very exciting​,” he said. 

If we want to vary protein content we need to do cross-linking of sodium caseinate for FDM, which is something to develop in the future. These types of models at the moment are only for certain types of materials for certain temperatures, so it is still limited​. 

With 3D printing you can tailor your product or food to individuals, the needs of people who have certain health requirements and lifestyle, and you can print on command a personal wish​. 

Next to that, you can produce it on the spot in a kitchen or somewhere else to avoid logistical changes, only producing what you want to eat, ie not too much and not too little, in that sense it is more sustainable​.” 

According to Schutyser, companies can explore the functionality of components for prototyping. 

He said there will be different types of food product in the future and we can design the ingredients to produce the prototype ie protein structures for digestive experiments and other more complex designs. 

Sodium caseinate suspensions

The aim of our study was not only to characterize and explore 3D printing of sodium caseinate suspensions, but to investigate the feasibility to include a second phase within the protein matrix​,” he said. 

We presented two methods that were used to introduce particles and an oil-phase into the caseinate matrix. It was demonstrated feasible to prepare protein-rich objects with specific spatial distributions of particles or fat droplets​.” 

The Food Process Engineering department at Wageningen University looks at food structure and food ingredients such as understanding the dynamics of dispersed fluids and solids and finding processes that are more sustainable, combining taste with better nutrition. 

Schutyser focuses on understanding the physical phenomena of the processing of dry foods to develop more sustainable drying and dry fractionation techniques. 

He started exploring the principles of 3D food printing with his students two years ago.

We focus on deposition modeling at Wageningen. The most well known is the 3D food printing of chocolate​, “ he added. 

But we would like to go a step further and based on studies of the effect of the distribution of components we want to design spatially low fat products​. 

We found that the spatial distribution of fat provided similar perceived creaminess in layered gels with a lower amount of fat​. “

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