An Overview of 3D Printing Technologies for Food Fabrication

Jie Sun*, Weibiao Zhou, Dejian Huang, Jerry Y.H. Fuh, Geok Soon Hong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

385 Citations (Scopus)


Different from robotics-based food manufacturing, three-dimensional (3D) food printing integrates 3D printing and digital gastronomy to revolutionize food manufacturing with customized shape, color, flavor, texture, and even nutrition. Hence, food products can be designed and fabricated to meet individual needs through controlling the amount of printing material and nutrition content. The objectives of this study are to collate, analyze, categorize, and summarize published articles and papers pertaining to 3D food printing and its impact on food processing, as well as to provide a critical insight into the direction of its future development. From the available references, both universal platforms and self-developed platforms are utilized for food printing. These platforms could be reconstructed in terms of process reformulation, material processing, and user interface in the near future. Three types of printing materials (i.e., natively printable materials, non-printable traditional food materials, and alternative ingredients) and two types of recipes (i.e., element-based recipe and traditional recipe) have been used for customized food fabrication. The available 3D food printing technologies and food processing technologies potentially applicable to food printing are presented. Essentially, 3D food printing provides an engineering solution for customized food design and personalized nutrition control, a prototyping tool to facilitate new food product development, and a potential machine to reconfigure a customized food supply chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1615
Number of pages11
JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • Customized food fabrication
  • Personalized nutrition
  • Platform design
  • Printing recipe

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