Apr 12, 2016 | By Kira

Researchers from the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, in collaboration with FrieslandCampina, are researching and developing methods for 3D printing protein-rich foods using sodium caseinate, a high-quality protein found in mammalian milk.

3D food printing is a particularly interesting and important area within the 3D printing industry as a whole. It is interesting because the technology behind 3D food printing allows for unique flavor combinations and enhanced food presentations that were previously impossible to achieve in even the most advanced culinary institutions. At the same time, the science of 3D food printing could be an important key in addressing pressing issues such as sustainability, food waste, and malnutrition across the world.

Wageningen’s research into 3D printing protein-rich foods falls into the second category. The research, part of a collaboration between Wageningen University and FrieslandCampina, the world’s largest dairy cooperative, aims to develop FDM 3D printed protein-rich foods that are both tasty and nutritious, delivering essential, high-quality protein nutrients while eliminating food waste.

According to Maarten Schutyser, professor of Food Process Engineering and specialist in the area of sustainable dry food processing, the research, titled “3D Printing of Filled Protein-Rich Food Structures” has two primary aims.

The first is to characterize and explore the 3D printing of sodium caseinate suspensions using standard, FDM 3D printing technology. Sodium Caseinate, also known as casein, provides 80 percent of the protein in cow milk, 60 percent of the protein in human milk, and is the principle source of protein in commercial cheeses.

The second aim of Wageningen and FrieslandCampina’s research is to investigate the feasibility of including a ‘second phase’ within the protein matrix—that is, the ability to introduce particles and an oil-phase into the caseinate matrix, thereby controlling the spatial distributions of particles or fat droplets.

This ability would allow food scientists to 3D print protein-rich foods that potentially mimic the textures of actual dairy products, while optimizing their nutritional content (i.e. increasing the amount of protein in a 3D printed food structure while reducing the amount of fat).

So far, the research has succeeded in developing 3D printed prototypes of milk protein structures, though the process is still limited to certain materials and certain temperatures. At the same time, the researchers have demonstrated two feasible methods for controlling the spatial distributions of particles in 3D printed protein-rich foods.

FDM 3D printing allows food scientists to customize foods to the exact requirements of individuals, based either on health requirements, lifestyle, age, or region. This has perhaps been best demonstrated by the EU’s PERFORMANCE 3D printed food for the elderly. 3D food printing also eliminates waste by allowing users to produce only the amount of food they actually need to eat. According to recent studies, 88 million tons of food are wasted every year in the EU alone.

The mission of the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering at Wageningen University is to explore new principles and technologies for preparing food structures and ingredients that are more sustainable, tastier, and more nutrious.

Likewise, FreislandCampina, which operates an R&D Innovation Center in Wageningen and is one of the top 5 dairy companies in the world, is committed to developing innovative, sustainable, nutritious, and tasty food products and optimize the dietary advantages of milk while minimizing costs and CO2 emissions.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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SandraD wrote at 4/13/2016 2:24:30 PM:

@@robin actually the cow milk we drink is 80% casein and just 20% whey and it is considered a higher quality protein that even cow beef

RobinLeech wrote at 4/13/2016 2:25:16 AM:

"sodium caseinate, a high-quality protein found in mammalian milk" After you remove it from the whey protein via industrial (acid) processes, it is no longer "high quality". It's actually some of the cheapest, lowest quality protein available- that's why they want to use it. "High quality" protein would be in it's natural state, not a manufactured concentrate. And that's aside from the studies linking casein to increased cancer risk.

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