Smart Technologies in Agri-Horti-Water-Food
Personalization and consumer empowerment are important drivers for the interest in additive manufacturing (3D printing) for local on-demand, flexible food production. Amongst additive manufacturing techniques, powder based printing is one of the most promising in terms of its added value over traditional food processing methods and of its scalability. Powderbed printing is currently employed for manufacture of non-food materials (plastics, metals) but in the food domain, this technique is applied in very limited cases until now. TNO and WFBR developed an innovative powderbed printing facility which became recently available for food research activities.
Overall intention, goal, and innovation
The goal of this PPP is to enable the manufacture of food products with specifically designed functional properties by means of powder-based 3D printing techniques. These technologies include powder bed printing (PBP), selective laser sintering (SLS), and their combination.
Rather than using traditional methods to create functional properties in food products, here a digital route will be developed through which food product designs and structures, and their functional properties can be created digitally, and then realized via state-of-the art 3D printing technologies. This new digital method will not only allow for the rapid creation of prototypes of new innovative food product concepts with surprising functionalities, but will also provide the agri-food industry with a means to deliver personalized, on-demand, healthier food products in a manner that is more responsive to consumer, environmental and societal needs.
The project will use an applied scientific approach in which food material science, as well as process and software engineering capabilities are combined. Hence, the industrial partners (global food ingredient and pet food companies) and the knowledge institutes (Wageningen University & Research and TNO Eindhoven) form a highly suited consortium. Together, the consortium will exploit the potentials of powder-based 3D printing technologies for food manufacturing. This project will result in:
1) a dedicated powder based additive manufacturing process for food
2) a knowledge base to control food structure properties (based on ingredient and printing parameters)
3) food product prototypes with functional aspects (physical and sensorial) that can be digitally designed and controlled
We will investigate powderbed printing as a novel and sustainable production process and demonstrate its unique capabilities for the creation of personalized food products with optimized nutrient composition and for customized functional properties. This consortium project will create the first essential tools that will allow the use of this technology for the manufacture of personalized, on-demand food in the near future.
Doel van het project
It is expected that powder based printing technologies can afford the agri-food industry the capability of fully digitalized, more flexible methods to delivering personalized, on-demand, healthier food products that are more responsive to consumer, environmental and societal needs
Relatie met missie/motivatie
An important objective of the MMIP ST1 Smart Technologies is to measure, decide and/or act on a more detailed level; in the case of production to extend this from batch level (current) to product level (to be developed). Powder based additive manufacturing can allow this, as it has the potential to manufacture individual products based on digital information by means of a fully digitally controlled manufacturing process.
The intended results for Phase 1 (Q1/2020-Q1/2021) are the identification of the added-value functionalities for 3D printing food products, having defined the operating window for ingredient-process interactions in the current PBP equipment, first mechanisms for structure formation revealed, having a demonstrator a first relevant PBP printed model food and identification of development routes for specific value-added product functionalities to be explored in phase 2.
Phase 2 (Q2/2021-Q1/2022) focuses on developing tools for food manufacturing enabling to create high resolution, well-defined food structures based on ingredient interactions and 3D processing technologies. This will be employed to enable the creation of specific value-added functional properties in the products. Deliverables include tools to quantify and describe in mechanistic terms the ingredient functionality and ingredient interactions in relation to structure formation in 3D powder based printing and to link functionality to physico-chemical properties of ingredients and ingredients mixtures.
Phase 3 (Q2/2022-Q1/2023) focuses on refining and evaluating the developed tools as an integrated reversed-engineering approach to manufacture consumer food with added-value properties. Demonstrators of added-value products for each of the selected applications will be produced as validation.
Continuous reporting is performed via monthly detailed progress reports (ppt) presented and discussed with the consortium.