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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346517

Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: 3D food printing: a new dimension in food production processes

item McHugh, Tara
item Bilbao-Sainz, Cristina

Submitted to: Food Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2017
Publication Date: 4/1/2017
Citation: McHugh, T.H., Bilbao-Sainz, C. 2017. 3D food printing: a new dimension in food production processes. Food Technology. 71(4):123-125.

Interpretive Summary: This column reviews the basics of 3D printing of foods. Advantages of the technology are discussed and applications presented.

Technical Abstract: 3D food printing, also known as food layered manufacture (FLM), is an exciting new method of digital food production that applies the process of additive manufacturing to food fabrication. In the 3D food printing process, a food product is first scanned or designed with computer-aided design software and produced by splitting the designed object into thin layers. The layer template directs a digitally controlled XYZ-robotics system to construct the item in consecutive layers from the bottom up. The layers are fused together by phase transitions or chemical reactions, either during construction or in a separate post-construction step. The 3D food printing process can also allow the consumer full control of shape, color, flavor, texture, and nutrition for food customization.