Food 3D printing technology and industry pattern


When food is combined with 3D printing technology, what kind of spark will be generated? Can it provide precision, can it replace animal farming, can it make meat taste with plant proteins? Or just for fun. Compared with other 3D printing technologies, food 3D printing is still relatively early, but it is becoming a popular topic.

What is 3D food printing?

Food 3D printer is a machine that can "print" food. Instead of using ink cartridges or filaments, it puts ingredients and toppings into containers, then enters recipes, presses buttons, and then does all the rest of the cooking process. 

3D printed food

What are the types of food 3D printing?

According to the materials printed, it can be divided into non-meat 3D printing and meat 3D printing. Non-meat 3D printing materials usually include chocolate, plant protein (plant meat), pancakes, candy, etc. Meat printing materials usually include pork, beef, fish, etc.

According to the printing process, it can be divided into FDM extrusion (chocolate, pancakes, vegetable protein, etc.), binder injection (candy) and biological 3D printing (beef, pork, fish).

The once-popular food 3D printer:

Pancake printing with 3D printer has been a hit, allowing you to turn any design into delicious western pancakes, selfies, handwritten love letters, children's doodles and more. No matter where pancake printers appear, there will be a lot of attention. Many people hope to make a fortune by 3D printing pancakes, but the reality is cruel, and it has not turned into a successful business model. Pancake 3D printing is also disappearing.

Pancake 3D printer

Existing Food 3D printing company:

In China, America, Japan, Israel, Newzaland have some food 3D printing companies. Such as Redefine meat, Aleph Farms, Meat-tech 3D in Israel. These companies are dealing with 3D printing meat development. CellX and Moodles from China are doing Meat 3D printing as well. Shinnove from China are doing chocolate 3D printing. Open Meal from Japan have opened the first 3D printing sushi restaurant. Modern Meadow from America is doing pork 3D printing. And 3D Systems from America have published candy 3D printer before. 

Research achievements:

China Zhejiang University - “3D Printing of Soy Protein-and Gluten-Based Gels Facilitated by Thermosensitive Cocoa Butter in a Model Study” - published at ACS Food Science & Technology

China Jiangnan University - “3D food printing curing technology based on gellan gum” - published at Journal of Food Engineering

China Jiangnan University - “Effect of drying method on post-processing stability and quality of 3D printed rose-yam paste” - published at Drying Technology

China South China Agricultural University - “Effects of incubation temperature on the mechanical and structure performance of beeswax-carrageenan-xanthan hybrid gelator system in 3D printing” - published at Food Hydrocolloids


3D food printing, as a novel product, has gradually attracted attention in the early stage of its entry into the market. Due to its ability to customize food according to taste, design or specific requirements, 3D food printing is rapidly becoming more and more popular among the growing consumer groups recently.

In addition, 3D-printed food actually improves the nutritional level of consumers, making it hygienic and convenient to print fresh, healthy food in the comfort of a home kitchen.In addition, 3D printing of food is expected to reduce carbon emissions and hazards in animal farming.

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