Researchers have made a breakthrough when it comes to 3D printed chocolate and are now able to print these products at room temperature, through a process called cold extrusion.
Until now, when it came to 3D printed chocolate, the widely used method was the hot-melt extrusion, which meant that the chocolate had to be between the temperatures of 590 degrees F (310 degrees C) and 680 degrees F (360 degrees C). The chocolate was melted and then ‘dispersed’ in the required shapes. But now, researchers from The Singapore University of Technology and Design, have come up with a way to do that at room temperature.
3D printed chocolate without limiting heat
The previous method was simple and accessible, but the narrow range of temperature it could be done at was pretty much restrictive and inflexible. That’s why the new method can be revolutionary and open up new avenues for our daily chocolate.
The new approach is called ‘Chocolate-based Ink 3-D Printing’ (Ci3DP) and was created by researchers from SUTD’s Soft Fluidics Lab. They can now print chocolate-based inks at room temperature.
“The simplicity and flexibility of Ci3DP offer great potential in fabricating complex chocolate-based products without the need for temperature control,” said lead author of the research paper, Dr. Rahul Karyappa from SUTD.
Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor Michinao Hashimoto from SUTD added, “Ci3DP is capable of fabricating customized food in a wide range of materials with tailored textures and optimized nutritional content. This new approach also widens the industry’s capabilities in 3-D food printing, allowing for the cold-extrusion of food products that are temperature-sensitive.”