Thursday, June 24, 2010

Printing With and On Your Food



If you are familiar with this blog, then you know that I often try to compare cooking and printing techniques.  I compare the two because most people understand cooking and food basics but not so much with printing.

On the surface, cooking and printing have nothing to do with each other.  However, despite these differences, there are many instances that utilize food directly in print and vice versa.  This blog post is dedicated to exploring a few of those times where the concept of food and print work together.

  • Chocolate Graphics (www.chocolategraphics.com) prints on food by embossing photographic images onto chocolate with chocolate.  This embossing technology simultaneously allows them to produce 3 dimensional images with chocolate as well.
  • Cantu Designs (www.cantudesigns.com) meld food with science, technology and art to create a new type of futuristic culinary experience.   Chef Cantu has created a number of print and food related technologies such as edible paper and desktop printers where the print cartridges are filled with food-based inks that include foods such as carrots, tomatoes and potatoes.
  • AIB (American Institute of Baking) and FDA help certify and ensure food packaging and labeling compliance on your every day print items you find in your grocery store.  They help printers follow guidelines on food grade printing ink requirements.
  • Soy-based inks are non petroleum-based inks that are created with vegetable oils.  These inks are often the choice for environmentally conscience customers as they emit considerably less VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and are biodegradable.
  • Edible rice paper is often used in cake designs to transfer a photo quality image on the outside of frosting.  A designer can draw and color designs on the paper or even run the sheet through a food safe edible ink printer to achieve more detail.

Perhaps printed materials that you can eat will be the biggest opportunity for printing to stay relevant in a digital world.

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