Decorations with Edible Ink for the Baking Industry

Creating impressive decoration on cakes with a minimum of resources is a requirement of these days. Printing on cakes is one of the new methods to make the most out of these products.  

LogoJET manufactures and sells UV direct-to-substrate printers, this means that they can print directly on almost anything — wood, metals, plastics, glass, stone, canvas, vinyl, rubber and food products. 

LogoJET PRO H4 has been in use since 2010 with Eco-Solvent inks. LogoJET offers edible inks for this model which enables manufacturers to print on edible products, including cookies, chocolate, marshmallows, candies, pills and more. Ink configurations offer color imprints onto light-colored edibles. 

LogoJET’S PROEdible Direct to Food Printer uses CMYK Edible Inks for unlimited color expression. It offers a print area of 12.95 x 24 inches, offering production speeds at 8-15 minutes per run. This model requires PartnerRIP Print Software for LogoJET PRO to manage edible inks. The semi-transparent quality of this ink allows the natural color of the food product to show through the imprint, so light-colored edibles are recommended. The inks used in LogoJET’s PROEdible are also 100% Kosher. 

Some features of the LogoJET PROEdible Printer include:

  •     Automatic platform height adjustments to accommodate different sized products up to 5″ in height; 
  •     Built ink delivery system to reduce maintenance and refills;
  •     Heated flatbed and built-in infrared lamps promote ink adhesion and imprint quality on certain products.

Lon Riley, vice president, and chief operating officer of LogoJET, told WorldBakers how can the inks be used on baked goods. 

WB: Who can use these kinds of printers? 

Lon Riley: The LogoJET Pro H4 has been in use with companies of many different sizes for years. We have customers ranging from small chocolate and bakeshops to larger production houses that produce food items for resale and promotion for some of the largest companies in the world.

WB: What ingredients are used to create inks? 

Lon Riley: LogoJET edible-ink printers uses water-based edible ink.

WB: What are the challenges of printing on food/cakes? 

Lon Riley: The demand for personalization for items such as baked goods and confectionery is greater than ever. To be considered safe for consumption, any edible ink should be manufactured in a facility certified for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). GMP is a system for ensuring that any product manufactured is consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is also important to ensure that any packaging used does not impact the content of the ink.

For ink to be viable in any digital printing process, fundamentally it has to print correctly. When considering printing fully edible materials, there are restrictions on the availability of suitable materials and additives and compliance to food safety standards is critical. Today, there is no global standard. 

When all factors are considered, printing on food is complex. Inkjet printing has the potential to meet all of the requirements of the industry whilst adding significant value to a brand looking to appeal to the consumer of today.

LogoJET edible printers use Sensient® food colorants and digital inks which are manufactured in FDA- and GMP-certified facilities. The company has extensive experience with product safety and regulatory requirements needed to be compliant with food and pharmaceutical standards. Sensient Inks have even taken standards one step further by designing an assurance plan to ensure assurance in product quality and safety.

WB: What printers can be used by bakeries?
Lon Riley: The Pro H4 has been our standard, but in early 2020 we will release the next evolution in our edible series, the FSEx90R. This printer is built on our award-winning UVx90R industrial printing platform but reengineered for edible applications. This particular printer is designed more for larger run jobs and higher volume.

WB: How do you estimate the evolution of this type of food decorations over the next years? 

Lon Riley: Like LogoJET’s UV line, we are constantly developing new technologies. Many of the ideas come from specific applications we identify on customer locations that serve an immediate need but could also have a broader industry impact. We are currently assessing the viability of enhancements to provide more granular environmental control and also increase print speeds. These changes are still in the alpha testing phase, so more than likely would be released with a subsequent model in late 2020 or 2021. 

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