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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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"3D-printing gel based on functional starches"

This project aims to develop gels for 3D printing from modified starches with specifically adapted rheological properties. It is funded by the RFI Food for Tomorrow (Cap Aliment).

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process that shows many interests for the development of new food products with multiple shapes and textures. This process involves a step of extruding a molten filament or paste through a thin injection nozzle guided by a computer. 

The properties of 3D printing gels are a major issue for the development of this technology.

3D printing

The principles of additive manufacturing (3D printing): a) creation of the desired shape by a computer-guided laser; b) deposition of gel (molten material) by different extrusion techniques; c) recovery of the shape after solidification of the molten gel.
Source: Trends in Food Science & Technology 27 (2012) 66-72

Starch is an interesting raw material for the production of these gels because, on the one hand, it is an abundant resource, particularly in France and Brazil where it is produced from wheat and manioc and, on the other hand, it can be modified to obtain new functions including rheological and gelling properties.

In this project, starches will be modified by conventional thermal processes and non-thermal processes (PEF, Pulsed Electric Field and ozone). Combinations of starches extracted from wheat and cassava, as well as combinations of pre-gelatinised or non-gelatinised starches will be tested to adjust the solidification properties of the gels during 3D printing.

This project is based on a consortium between the BIA and GEPEA units grouped within the SFR IBSM and an international partner, the Brazilian University of Sao Paulo.

  • Duration of the project: 18 months (Nov. 2018 – April 2020)
  • Coordination :  ONIRIS GEPEA  (project owner: Alain Le Bail)
  • Academic partners:
    • INRA BIA
    • University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Budget:  107 000 € incl.  85000 € from RFI