Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 267–279 | Cite as

3D Printing Complex Egg White Protein Objects: Properties and Optimization

  • Lili LiuEmail author
  • Yuanyuan Meng
  • Xiaoning Dai
  • Ke Chen
  • Yang ZhuEmail author
Original Paper


Three-dimensional (3D) is an emerging technique for the production of various unique and complex food items. Printing materials and recipes should be optimized to improve the quality and efficiency of 3D printing. This paper presents the development of a novel food formulation for 3D printing. This formulation is based on a complex mixture system that comprises egg white protein (EWP), gelatin, cornstarch, and sucrose. The effects of EWP addition on the rheological, lubrication, and texture properties and the microstructure of the mixture system were investigated. The results of the rheological and tribology studies show that a 5.0% (w/w) EWP mixture system is ideal for use in 3D printing. The addition of a certain concentration of EWP could improve the hardness and springiness of gel samples. The improvement in these properties facilitates the timely flow-out of the printing material from the nozzle and improves the viscosity of the printing material. The latter effect helps maintain the shape of the printing material during printing. Furthermore, the printing parameters for the optimal geometric accuracy and dimensions of the printed mixture system were determined and are 1.0 mm nozzle diameter, 70 mm/s nozzle moving speed, and 0.004 cm3/s extrusion rate. This work suggests that 3D printing based on the EWP complex system is a promising method for producing food objects with complex shapes.


Egg white protein Gelatin 3D printing Rheological properties Printing parameters 



The authors thank Prof. Bhesh Bhandari and Dr. Sangeeta Prakash for their valuable comments and discussion.

Funding Information

This study was supported by Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U1704114), and Key Scientific Research Program of Henan Province (No.161100110900, 161100110600-2, and 161100110700-2).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Food and BioengineeringHenan University of Science and TechnologyLuoyangChina
  2. 2.School of Agriculture and Food SciencesThe University of QueenslandSt. Lucia, BrisbaneAustralia

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