Valorization of food industry waste and by-products using 3D printing: A study on the development of value-added functional cookies

Article Link


•A novel approach for improved utilization of food industry waste/by-products.
•Industry waste streams selected: grape pomace and broken wheat.
•3D printing for the production of customized foods with improved value.
•Insights for cleaner production and effective resource recovery.
•Optimization of 3D printing conditions in the in-house fabricated printer CARK.


Wastes and by-products of the food industry are often overlooked and utilized or underutilized. Of late, the emphasis is being given to recover, recycle, and recondition waste, promoting sustainable food processing.

In this research, grape pomace and broken wheat which are otherwise sent for animal feed were collected from industries and were used as key ingredients of a 3D printing material supply for the production of functional cookies.

The administration of grape pomace augmented the nutritional value and antioxidant properties of the cookies. Printing using a nozzle diameter of 1.28 mm, extruder motor speed of 600 rpm, and print speed of 400 mm/min gave the optimal printability for the in-house developed extrusion-based food 3D printer CARK.

The printed constructs were post-processed at 130 °C for 12 min and the 6% grape pomace formulation received the highest preference during sensory evaluation. Interestingly, the developed product was rich in proteins and dietary fiber.

This approach highlights the potential for value addition of industrial waste streams with good consumer preference. Accordingly, the unmatched levels of customization that additive manufacturing offers can be well complemented with personalizing foods in terms of nutritional content, whilst providing scope for cleaner production practices and improved recovery of resources from food processing wastes.


This study explains a novel and sustainable approach for the utilization of food industry waste streams. Using the 3D printing approach, grape pomace powder-incorporated broken wheat (flour) cookies were prepared.

While it offers the merits of producing foods with customized shapes, the approach can overcome consumer perception of having foods from waste and by-products. An in-house fabricated extrusion printer was used and the printing conditions were optimized.

Consequently, a detailed study on the effect of printing parameters on the different cookie formulations was performed. This further confirmed that an increase in grape content increased the viscosity, thereby resulting in the utilization of lesser print speed, and extrusion rate for improved printability.

Moreover, baking the printed cookies revealed improved structural features, and thus confirming post-processing enhances the shape stability of the printed matrices. Sensory preferences explain that this approach has the potential to produce value-added foods with functional benefits.

While the concept focuses on the ‘waste-to-wealth’ approach, the findings of this research add a new dimension to 3D printing technology. In the future, this study can further be developed by incorporating macro/micronutrients from the under-utilized food sources.


Published by RenSun Lee

Kia ora! Sustainability is at the core of my soul ever since I was a kid. I always strive to finish the food on my plate and live as a minimalist. I love to cut down on waste in order to live sustainably and harmoniously with our planet. This brings me to my passion as a Food Scientist to integrate new technologies into innovative and creative solutions to meet customer demands and market trends and to optimize products and processes for quality, savings and sustainability. To these goals, I have published a Journal on my work on sustainable packaging and patented a new Antimicrobial wash. Nothing is more satisfying than working hard and smart at the workplace and playing hard outside of working hours. I enjoy rejuvenating myself through spending quality time with my two adorable kids and my awesome soul mate and getting close to nature when possible, be it gardening, tramping or going to the beach. I also love to learn about our magnificent universe and how sustainability is working in the grand scheme of things. I strongly believe that Work, Life & Balance is the key to a healthy state of mind, both physically and mentally. I look forward to making a positive difference wherever and whenever I can. Through this Blog, I hope to catalog recent Food Trends and Food Technologies that I come across so that anyone who is interested can have access to it (articles and resources). Please use these resources at your discretion. On top of that, I would also like to share related news and technologies of the future that would help mankind advance towards a Type 1 Civilization. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share and contribute to the “Resources“. I would like to thank you in advance for dropping by. I sincerely hope that you can benefit from the recent Food Trends and Food Technologies I catalogued. Kind regards | Ngā mihi RenSun Lee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: