Previously, the company produced over 20 multi-material products including clay for ceramics, filaments for plastics, paste for bronze, silicone and edible materials and granulate for recycled materials.
Marzipan & icing sugar
Nina Hoff, CEO, byFlow, told ConfectioneryNews, it can print more than 50 ingredients from chocolate to marzipan, icing sugar, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat and wants to focus on a niche market where it sees demand.
“We see many food segments starting to experiment with 3D food printing. It’s still quite a new technology and a lot of food manufacturers aren’t used to using this type of equipment but the market is slowly opening up and starting to experiment with 3D printers,” she said.
“Uptake is still slow, for example printing chocolate is different than printing meat, the technology is the same but the speed for those ingredients varies. We believe 3D food printing will be adopted by multi-national food companies with industrial-type 3D food printing.
“A lot of companies are starting to experiment with personalized nutrition and looking for products for their customers to make personalized food, ie for people in the hospital sector, or people who have difficulties swallowing, or for children who don’t want to eat vegetables. A 3D printer can make a dinosaur shape using vegetable ingredients to entice children to eat their greens.
“We don’t think we will be priced out of the market if 3D printing operates from an industrial scale because manufacturers will still need customized versions of food in smaller quantities such as personalized seasonal cookies or orders that cannot be done on an industrial scale.”
ConfectioneryNews reported last year Barry Callebaut partnered with byFlow nearly two years’ ago to develop a 3D chocolate printer to produce what it claims is ‘the chocolate experience of tomorrow'.
“We are still in the testing phase with Barry Callebaut,” added Hoff.
“We developed a technique that can use high end chocolate, not compound but real couverture chocolate made with cocoa butter in our machines but it is not yet market-ready.
“We are also experimenting with some seasonal designs for Christmas, Easter and the New Year, such as 3D printed chocolate mini Christmas trees.”
ByFlow is an official partner of the 3D Food Printing Conference, which will be held in Venlo, the Netherlands this year (June 27, 2018).
“My father was one of the original founders of the 3D Food Printing Conference and byFlow continues to be a partner of the event,” said Hoff.
“We plan to host a pop-up restaurant at the show and interactive workshop inviting guests from the food industry to demonstrate what we can do."
Hoff said byFlow recently sold its 100th printer, including many to the chocolate industry. But since April when it decided to solely focus on food it has seen interest from the bakery industry, high-end restaurants, and education within the food industry.
“We started to gather more partners and resellers in the last two months to open up the market further and on the education part we are developing special recipes with chefs and bakeries to make it easier for customers to prepare fully-printed food and on how to fill the cartridges,” she added.
“We are testing a lot of designs and users can download recipes from our website when they become a customer.”