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Moisture analysis of 3D printed food materials

2024-03-14 17:25

3D printing of food is an innovative food manufacturing technology that utilizes a 3D printer to stack ingredients layer by layer, gradually constructing a three-dimensional shape of the food.
3D printed food materials are raw materials used to produce 3D printed food. These materials need to have certain characteristics to meet the requirements of the 3D printing process and comply with food safety and hygiene standards. Here are some common 3D printed food materials:

 

1. Edible paste: Edible paste is a common 3D printed food material, usually made from ingredients such as starch, flour, pectin, seaweed gum, etc. They have high viscosity and printability, and can maintain shape and structural stability during the printing process.
2. Edible polymers: Edible polymer materials are a special type of food grade plastics, such as polylactic acid (PLA), polycaprolactone (PCL), etc. They have good plasticity and processability, and can be 3D printed through hot melting or thermal softening.
3. Protein materials: protein materials such as tofu, soybean milk, milk powder, etc. can be used to make 3D printed food. These materials can form a uniform gel shape in the printing process to build complex food structures.
4. Fat materials: Fat materials such as cocoa butter, vegetable oil, etc. can also be used for 3D printing of food. They can provide lubrication during the printing process, making the printing process smoother and adding texture and flavor to food.
5. Colloidal materials: Colloidal materials such as glue and gelatin can be used to make 3D printed food. These materials have good rheological and gel properties and can form a stable 3D printing structure.

In 3D printing of food materials, moisture control is crucial. The content and distribution of moisture can affect the texture, taste, and preservation performance of food. Here are some considerations for moisture control in 3D printed food materials:

 

1. Raw material selection: Select ingredients suitable for 3D printing and understand their moisture content. The moisture content of different materials can affect the fluidity and viscosity of the materials during the printing process.
2. Moisture adjustment: Based on the desired printing results, the fluidity and viscosity of the printing material can be controlled by adjusting the moisture content of the ingredients. Add water or other liquid components to achieve appropriate fluidity.
3. Printing parameters: Adjust the parameters of the 3D printer, such as printing speed and temperature, to adapt to the moisture content and fluidity of the ingredients used. This helps to ensure material stability and printing accuracy during the printing process.
4. Moisture uniformity: Ensure the uniform distribution of moisture in the printing material to avoid instability and unevenness during the printing process. This can be achieved by fully mixing ingredients and water.
5. Moisture control and storage: After printing, it is necessary to properly control and store the moisture of the printed food. This can be achieved through methods such as vacuum packaging, humidification, or drying to maintain the quality and taste of food.

It should be noted that the moisture control of 3D printed food materials is a complex process that needs to be adjusted and optimized based on specific material and food characteristics. Different ingredients and formulas may require different moisture control strategies. Therefore, when conducting 3D printing of food materials, it is recommended to conduct experiments and tests to determine the optimal moisture control method.

 

Evaluate the moisture content of 3D printed food materials?

When analyzing the moisture content of 3D printed food materials, the following methods can be used:
1. Drying method: This is a common moisture analysis method. Firstly, weigh the sample and place it in a preheated oven for drying at a certain temperature for a period of time. Then, take out the sample, quickly cool it and weigh it again. By comparing the initial weight and the dried weight, the moisture content in the sample can be calculated.
2. Simple weight method: This is a simple moisture analysis method. After weighing the sample, place it at room temperature for a period of time to reach equilibrium. Then, weigh again and calculate the moisture content in the sample by comparing the initial weight with the balanced weight.
3. Karl Fischer method: This is a precise method for measuring moisture content, suitable for samples with lower moisture content. This method uses Karl Fischer titration apparatus, which contains chemical reagents that can react with water to form compounds. By titrating the reagent into a water containing sample and measuring the consumption of the titrant, the water content can be calculated.
4. Infrared moisture analysis method: This is a non-destructive moisture analysis method. It uses infrared spectroscopy to measure the moisture content in the sample. By analyzing the vibration and absorption characteristics of water molecules in the sample, an approximate value of water content can be determined.
5. Low field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) method: Low field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a non-destructive method used to study moisture content. It uses nuclear magnetic resonance phenomenon to measure and analyze the content and distribution of moisture in the sample. By measuring and analyzing the T1 and T2 values of nuclear magnetic resonance signals in different samples, the difference in moisture content can be inferred. Low field nuclear magnetic resonance method has the advantages of non-destructive, fast, accurate, and reproducible.