How 3D printing can be used to alter sensory perception of food products

It is well known that 3D food printing holds many promises for making customized foods with attractive shapes, tailored texture properties, and personalized nutritional value. Even though numerous studies demonstrated instrumental texture properties could be influenced by structure modifications of 3D printed foods, no study to date described the impact of these structure modifications on sensory texture perception.

In this study, we applied extrusion-based 3D printing technology to prepare protein bars with different chocolate distribution patterns (layered, rectilinear and concentric). We found that protein bars with different infill patterns had different mechanical strengths, and we were able to explain the differences using spring models. Such difference in texture was also well perceived by sensory panelists.

Our study demonstrated that texture perception of foods can be tailored by modifications of shape and structure using 3D printing technology. This is of great importance for product development in real life.

Sicong Zhu is a speaker at the 2021 edition of the 3D Food Printing Confence.

About Wageningen University & Research

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. We combine fundamental and applied knowledge in order to contribute to resolving important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 6,500 members of staff and 10,000 students, Wageningen University & Research is a world leader in its domain.

An integral way of working, and cooperation between the exact sciences and the technological and social disciplines are key to its approach. www.wur.eu

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