The two companies have developed a prototype which they demonstrated to Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, during a three-day state visit to the Netherlands recently.
Pascale Meulemeester, VP, Global Gourmet, Barry Callebaut, told ConfectioneryNews, the company partnered with byFlow a year-and-a-half ago, entering into a joint agreement and started its research project on 3D printing.
“3D printing is considered one of the most promising and ground-breaking manufacturing technologies. It is a disruptive technology that will change how design, manufacturing and retail are done and will have lasting global impact on many different market segments. We strongly believe it will also do this in confectionery,” she said.
“Looking at the 3D food printing landscape we identified an authority in this field, namely byFlow. Thanks to their knowledge, enthusiasm and flexibility as a startup company we believe to have found the perfect partnership.”
Meulemeester added, as part of the agreement, byFlow will take responsibility for the 3D chocolate printer while Callebaut will focus on the chocolate development.
“byFlow will make dedicated new ground-breaking technology that can be applied in a state-of-the-art 3D chocolate printer. Callebaut will combine the 3D printing knowledge and chocolate know-how to develop specific 3D printing chocolates,” she said.
“There is a cost associated with it, especially at this early stage of development. But the chocolate that can be used does not necessarily have to be much more expensive. Finding the ideal mix is the secret behind it.”
Prototype 3D chocolates
Barry Callebaut produced a number of chocolates during the state visit to highlight what the 3D printer can do but none are released for commercial sale just yet as it is still in the early stages of development.
Meulemeester said this collaboration is the next step in its ‘more than 100 year old’ traditional crafting methods, and ‘a great extension to the creativity of all chocolate professionals’.
“Finest Belgian chocolate is hip and happening. With the 3D chocolate printer, we can combine our rich legacy in chocolate making with the technologies of tomorrow. It is an exciting venture to be able to create new experiences with one of Belgians most famous products: chocolate,” she added.
“A lot more is happening besides the development of the 3D chocolate printer and the 3D chocolate itself. This is only the tip of the iceberg.”