The challenge of high throughput 3D printers for food application; bottlenecks and possible solutions.

3D food printing investigations are for the most dealing with flow rates in the range of few ml per minutes more or less. Such flow rate allow the production of small sized food samples, food prototypes or personalized food corresponding to a niche market. The major application of food ADM (additive manufacturing) with high throughput is without any doubt the pizza manufacturing, based on a layer by layer approach.

The levers towards high throughput 3D printers based on extrusion are based on managing the viscosity of the ink to allow high mass flowrate, on enhanced heat transfer in the printing noozle and on strong gelling capability for the most. These issues will be discussed and possible solutions will be proposed to achieved higher production capacity based on starch based printing ink and phase change systems.

Interview

What drives you?
Our research unit GEPEA (CNRS 6144) is based on process engineering to develop innovative and clean label solutions for the food industry. We combine a strong modeling skill, giving access to numerical experimentations, and also the possibility to design and build our own prototype equipments.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
This presentation will provide new insights in ADM applied to foods. Innovative concepts have been developed giving access to higher mass flow rate than any existing systems.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
System that can succeed to control the printing ink viscosity and high heating capacity are needed.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
It should permit to enhance the actual mass flow rate by a 10 to 100 factor and maybe more.

Alain Lebail is Professor at ONIRIS-FOOD SCIENCE, higher education and research Institute affiliated to the French Ministry of Agriculture. His research activity takes place within the GEPEA Research Unit CNRS 6144 (Nat. Scientific Council for Research).

Pr Le BAIL is working in MAPS² group within UMR GEPEA (Matrices, Process-Properties, Structure-Sensorial). The research themes concern the impact of processing on food structure and food functionality. The focus are on baking technology and refrigeration mainly. supervised 33 PhD / 200 publications/9 patents/ H Index 41 Scopus. Pdt of Int Ass. of Eng. and Food and of commission C2 Of Int Inst. Of refrigeration. Editorial board of Board FOODS-MDPI, Applied Food Research (Elsevier), Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technology (ELSEVIER), Journal of Food Engineering (ELSEVIER), Food and Bioprocess Technology (Springer).

Alain Lebail is a speaker at the 2021 edition of the 3D Food Printing Conference.

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