3D printing of porous food structures contain Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 – Presented by Lu Zhang, Laboratory of Food Process Engineering, Wageningen University, at the 3D Food Printing Conference, Jun 28, Brightlands Campus, Villa Flora, Venlo, The Netherlands.
Extrusion-based 3D printing offers more flexibility in achieving food structures with controlled composition, geometric complexity and added functionality compared to conventional manufacturing methods. This study investigates the feasibility of 3D printing of wheat flour dough containing probiotics (i.e., Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1) and the survival of probiotic bacteria during post-processing (i.e., baking) as influenced by the geometric design of the structure and the baking condition. From our previous studies we hypothesized that baked products with higher surface/volume ratios would lead to increased survival of bacteria after baking. The printability of different dough formulations was evaluated by two characteristics: easy and uniformity of extrusion; precision and accuracy of the printing. Designs were created to make highly-porous and filled baked food structures. Results show that the precision and stability of the printed structure was the best when using wheat flour with lower protein content (7.2 % w/w), when using a nozzle diameter of 1.2 mm and by adding calcium caseinate (3 % w/w of flour) to weaken the gluten network. The baking process at 175 ○C did not affect the appearance of the printed structures and thus survival of probiotic bacteria was determined. The residual viability of probiotics in a ‘honeycomb’ structure was 1-log higher than that in a ‘concentric’ structure, when 98 % degree of starch gelatinization was reached. This result is consistent with our hypothesis that the bacteria survived better in a structure with higher surface/volume ratio. This work may offer a new avenue to the development of innovative solid food products containing probiotic bacteria.
About Lu Zhang
Lu Zhang is doing her PhD in the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering in Wageningen University. Her PhD project is “Bioactive ingredients during mini-bread baking”. The objectives of this thesis are to provide deeper understanding of the interaction between the baking process and the active ingredients, gain insights on the inactivation mechanisms of active ingredients during baking and explore possible strategies to better retain their bioactivity.
About Laboratory of Food Process Engineering, Wageningen University
“On a fundamental level, we strive to understand the dynamics of really complex materials, such as foods, under processing, and the role of complexity in this. We then use this understanding to come to really new principles of producing foods, which can make huge steps in sustainability, whilst ensuring excellent taste and better nutrition.”
The 3D printing technology will be fundamental to the way people interact with food in the future. Supermarkets are already testing to 3D print customized cakes, restaurants are offering printed desserts. Some even claim that there will be a 3D food printer in every home in just two years.
However, much research is required to change the hype into reality. Which industries will be influenced by the technology? Which food components can be printed in the near future? And which aspects should be taken into account to ensure safety and maintainability of 3D printed food?
The 3D Food Printing Conference will answer this kind of questions.
The conference is part of a two-day Agri Food Innovation Event (June 27-28, 2018) that includes 4 dedicated conferences and an expo.