A novel approach to 3-D printing has allowed researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) to 3-D print chocolate-based products at room temperature using cold extrusion. Results of the research study are published in Nature.

The scientists sought to overcome the inflexible demands of hot-melt extrusion, which is widely used to 3-D print chocolates. The method requires the chocolate to be at temperatures between 31oC and 36oC so it can be melted and dispensed. While the method has advantages in simplicity and accessibility, the narrow range of operating temperatures can be highly restrictive.

Conversely, cold extrusion does not require the manipulation of temperature since it depends solely on the rheology of printing “ink” added to chocolate at the operating temperature. To date, the lack of inks with suitable rheological properties has prevented cold extrusion to be used in 3-D printed chocolate applications.

To bridge the gap, researchers from SUTD’s Soft Fluidics Lab developed a method called Chocolate-based Ink 3-D Printing (Ci3DP). The method uses readily available chocolate products, such as syrups and pastes, that are mixed with cocoa powder to alter the rheology of the ink. Chocolate-based inks with high concentrations of cocoa powders exhibited shear-thinning properties with high viscosity; the inks also possessed a toothpaste-like property that did not flow at rest.

To highlight the capabilities of the novel method, 3-D models consisting of chocolate syrups and pastes were demonstrated. The method was extended to the fabrication of a chocolate with different textures by using multiple types of inks. For instance, a piece of chocolate was fabricated with a semi-solid enclosure and liquid filling at the same time, further demonstrating the flexibility of the scientists’ new approach.

“The simplicity and flexibility of Ci3DP offer great potential in fabricating complex chocolate-based products without the need for temperature control,” said lead study author Rahul Karyappa in a press release.

Added principal investigator Michinao Hashimoto, in the press release, “Ci3DP is capable of fabricating customized food in a wide range of materials with tailored textures and optimized nutritional content. This new approach also widens the industry’s capabilities in 3-D food printing, allowing for the cold-extrusion of food products that are temperature-sensitive.”

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

Haddock have an innate sense of direction

According to a recent study published in iScience, haddock hatch with an innate ability to ensure it remains in its natural environment.

MIT researchers encapsulate nutrients to fight malnutrition

A team of MIT researchers has come up with a new approach to fortifying foods by encapsulating micronutrients such as iron and vitamin A—a strategy that they hope will help fight malnutrition in the developing world.

Mathematical model can predict vitamin levels in food for astronauts

Food scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have demonstrated that an easy-to-use mathematical model can help NASA (U.S. space agency) quickly measure the nutrient levels in foods prepared for astronauts.

New coating gives foodborne pathogens the slip

A nonstick wrap that repels bacteria has potentially valuable food packaging applications, according to the researchers at McMaster University in Canada who developed it.

More from IFT right arrow

Pitch Events to Keep on Your Radar for 2020

Pitch events and incubator programs can help fledgling food startups gain exposure and garner funding for their groundbreaking business concepts.

How Food Entrepreneurs Drive Package Innovation

The article describes why new product concepts may need new packaging concepts and how ideas in both areas are initiated and fulfilled.

Evolving Ingredients Help Bakers Rise to Market Challenges

The bakery category is quite diverse, and so, in turn, are the ingredients used in bakery products. Some of these ingredient innovations include fats and oils that improve the stability of icings, preservatives to keep consumer packaged baked goods fresher longer, and texturizers to create specific textures from creamy to crunchy. There are also whole grains for unique flavors and textures and plant protein ingredients that can provide important functions and protein enrichment.

Pitch Your Innovation to IFT

IFT is currently accepting applications for its third annual IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge, which culminates with a pitch event at the IFT20 Annual Event and Food Expo in Chicago in July.

Female Founders Get Shortchanged

Female Founders receive a very small percentage of the investment funds for agri-food tech startups.

Latest News right arrow

Memphis Meats raises $161 million in Series B funding round

The cell-based meat, poultry, and seafood company Memphis Meats has closed a $161 million Series B funding round. Thus far, the company has raised more than $180 million.

Leaf damage from insects may improve antioxidant levels in produce

Research scientists at Texas A&M have discovered that insects wounds on the leaves of fruit and vegetable crops may create stress responses and cause the plant to produce more antioxidants prior to harvest.

Scientists map 99% of sugarcane genome

An international group of researchers led by Brazilian scientists has assembled the most complete genome sequence of commercial sugarcane.

Italian and French food firms join IBM Food Trust to implement blockchain tracing technology

Gruppo Grigi has reached an agreement with IBM Food Trust for Aliveris brand pasta to use IBM Food Trust to trace the provenance of their pasta, which is made from 100% organic Italian wheat using non-GMO soybeans, and was produced in facilities using the traditional bronze drawn method of forming the pasta shape.

Paraguay approves use of GMO drought, herbicide tolerant soybeans

Verdeca, a joint venture between Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres Crop Solutions, has successfully completed the regulatory review process and received approval for its HB4 drought and herbicide tolerant soybeans from the Paraguayan Minister of Agriculture, through the National Commission for Agricultural and Forestry Biosafety.