A new approach of a starch-based 3D printing ink

3D-printing applied to food systems uses cold or hot extrusion for the most. Also, powder bed concept using laser sintering, and layer deposition are commonly used. This presentation concerns hot extrusion, which addresses a challenge in terms of ink viscosity; a low viscosity is researched whereas the ink which is deposited must ideally undergo a rapid hardening to mitigate spreading and to allow vertical construction.

November 2024

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This presentation proposes a presentation of a recent patent EP2022/058028 “Method of additive manufacturing by hot-extrusion”. The patent concerns an ink and an associate process, with the ink being based on modified starches with enhanced gelling properties thanks to Dry Heat Treatment (DHT), ozone, or pulsed electric field (PEF) processing.

One of concept lies in the fact that these treated starches are dispersed in a ; such starch is dispersed in pregelatinized starch gel to prevent sedimentation of the non gelatinized starch. The process using this ink is based on a hot extrusion system combining two zones heated at different temperatures; a feeding reservoir (temperature below gelatinization temperature) and a heated printing die ensuring starch gelatinization during inflow thermal treatment.

This combination provides a low-viscosity ink and a possibility to enhance the mass flow rate compared to cold extrusion. Also, the firmness of the gel allows rapid superposition of layers. The best results were obtained with DHT flour which is known to enhance water-holding capacity of starch.

A presentation by Alain Le-Bail, Professor in food process and food science at ONIRIS.

Alain is driven by replacing “chemistry” and additives in food formulation by simple concepts based on physics, state variables, order of ingredient mixing etc to move towards more clean labeled foods, and he sees that starch and flour treated by heat and different combinations of processes remain a relatively poorly explored domain.

About Alain Le-Bail
PhD Heat-Transfer and Fluid-Dynamics–1990–Univ.Nantes–France Working in MAPS group within UMR GEPEA (CNRS 6144). The research themes concern the impact of processing on food structure and food functionality. The focus are on baking technology and refrigeration.
Professor Le Bail has supervised 40PhD, published ca 220 Peer reviewed papers & book chapters and is co author of 11 patents.
H Index 50 google scholar / 47 WOS ORCID : 0000-0001-6132-5392

About Oniris
Oniris is an institute in higher education and research that operates under the aegis of France’s ministry of agriculture and food sovereignty.

Its work covers a broad spectrum of subjects that includes animal health and public health, clinical and biomedical studies, food science, and process engineering.

Oniris aims to be a player in the food industry and in animal and human health by actively contributing to the concept of ‘one medicine, one health’.

Oniris teaches around 1,200 students and offers training courses
For more information visit the website.

Alain Le-Bail will speak at the 2023 edition of the Agrifood Innovation Event.