Plant-based food structured by 3D printing: Opportunities and challenges

To provide consumers with high-quality plant-based food, not only is the nutritional content of importance, but also the texture and taste. Many animal-derived food products have a hierarchical structure which can be crucial for the texture, and subsequently, a unique biting experience. This drives the development of various technologies to create plant-based food structures that are similar to that of e.g. meat, fish, or cheese. One of the many promising techniques is 3D food printing.

In this talk, we will discuss the opportunities and challenges which come along with using 3D printing to structure food. We will also provide 2 case studies, one is using a desktop 3D printer to create a prototype fish analogue; the other one is using a protein structuring printer to create fibrous structure on a micro-scale which can be the basis for a plant-based burger.

A presentation by Bei Tian, scientist / project leader at Wageningen Food and Biobased Research.

About Bei Tian
Dr. Bei Tian is a scientist and project leader at the Wageningen Food and Biobased research, the Netherlands. Her current research interests include plant proteins, from their functionalities to product applications, as well as creating structures using 3D food printing. Prior to that, Bei received her PhD degree at the Delft University of Technology, during which she focused on applying neutron scatting techniques to characterise the meso-structure of meat analogues containing fibrous structure down to the sub-micron length scale.

About Wageningen Food & Biobased Research
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is a contract research organisation that conducts applied research for sustainable innovations in healthy food, fresh food chains and biobased products. We work together with companies, government authorities and other knowledge institutes such as Wageningen University. We cooperate within bilateral projects as well as public-private partnerships.

Bei Tian is speaker at the 2022 edition of the 3D Food Printing Conference in the Session powered by TNO / DFPI: 3D Food Printing meets Protein Transition, part of the Agrifood Innovation Event.

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