Printing on food or food printing: A review

Federico Pallottino, Liisa Hakola, Corrado Costa (Corresponding Author), Francesca Antonucci, Simone Figorilli, Anu Seisto, Paolo Menesatti

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

    118 Citations (Scopus)


    The processes of printing foodstuffs or imaging on an unconventional surface deserve extra attention in comparison with conventional techniques especially in relation with the substrate interested that will or should say a lot about the concept behind the design. Indeed, while printing on food, designers are required to consider carefully both, the appropriate edible inks and the production processes. Moreover, printing on food packaging requires almost as much care. However, the concept of food printing represents nowadays a new frontier in food processing and industry to realize new food products of complex shapes and colour and with particular mixtures. At the moment, many current research projects and products related to food printing are being developed. In 2011, a European Cooperation in Science and Technology action named "New possibilities for print media and packaging, combining print with digital" was created with the aim to promote an interdisciplinary interaction among European research partner with several different research backgrounds. Among the aims of the project, a crucial aspect regards the combination of food expertise with printing using new technologies in order to print on food or food printing. In light of this scenario, image processing and machine control occupy a very important part of the research: a number of programs were written or modified as part of the research into food printing. This review aims to produce an updated analysis on the current developments regarding the technology for food printing and printing on food. In this sense, the work starts giving an overview of the 2D and three-dimensional (3D) printer technology and moves on the food media, edible substrate used by 3D printers and a print of food chapter, related to the substrates used by the 2D printers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)725-733
    JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


    • 2D and 3D printers
    • edible ink
    • food processing
    • packaging
    • print media
    • printing


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