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First 3D printing studio for chocolate

Source:Food Manufacturing Journal - Mid Date:2020-02-14
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The Barry Callebaut Group’s global decoration brand, Mona Lisa, is the first to launch personalized 3D printed Belgian chocolate at scale. Combining industry-leading production technology, bespoke design and Barry Callebaut’s chocolate expertise, it enables chefs to craft intricate or specific designs, and reproduce them fast and affordably. Through the new Mona Lisa 3D Studio, chefs have new creative tools at their disposal.

For the launch event, Mona Lisa teamed up with Jordi Roca, world-class creative pastry chef to help him unleash his creativity through a unique 3D piece made out of chocolate. His latest creation ‘Flor de Cacao’ represents a cocoa bean that opens up like a cacao flower through contact with hot chocolate sauce.

“This new way of working with chocolate is going to take consumers by surprise, with previously unthinkable shapes produced at scale and with impressive precision,” explains Roca. “I’m usually inspired by the things I can’t do as they represent a creative challenge – but now, thanks to Mona Lisa 3D Studio, I can take my chocolate craftsmanship to the next level. I can imagine any new kind of design and it will come to life.”

Innovative 3D printing technology can produce thousands of chocolate pieces at a time. Each piece retains a bespoke hand-made appearance (Source: Barry Callebaut)  

Pioneering on the chocolate market

Pablo Perversi, Chief Innovation, Sustainability & Quality Officer and Head of Gourmet at Barry Callebaut, said: “Innovation is an important pillar of Barry Callebaut’s proven ‘smart growth’ strategy. I am delighted that the Mona Lisa 3D Studio allows chefs to create unique consumer experiences at scale. This technological breakthrough innovation positions the Mona Lisa brand at the forefront of the industry and strengthens Barry Callebaut’s global leadership in Decorations.” The Mona Lisa 3D Studio is equipped with innovative precision technology capable of printing thousands of pieces at a time while retaining a bespoke hand-made appearance. Chefs and customers can personalize a chocolate decoration with their own unique design, shape and size preferences, before a team of designers transform the product into a digital 3D prototype with samples. Once the prototype is approved, the final product can be quickly reproduced at scale. The creations can be used for desserts, confectionery, hot drinks and pastries. This service will be first available to chefs and hotels, coffee chains and restaurant establishments in specific European countries. The first customer of the Mona Lisa 3D Studio is Van der Valk, a leading hotel chain in the Netherlands.

Jordi Roca's  ‘Flor de Cacao’ creation represents a cocoa bean that opens up like a cacao flower through contact with hot chocolate sauce. (Source: Barry Callebaut)

Empowering brands and chefs to stay ahead of trends with unseen chocolate creations 

Millennials and centennials want to celebrate life with new experiences and stories. In this context, food aesthetics are increasingly important. A recent Barry Callebaut research study showed that 70% of consumers want to try new and exciting chocolate experiences – and 6 out of 10 want to share it on social media. 3D printing is addressing consumer desires by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible aesthetically. With the new technology, chefs can develop unseen and unique creations and expand their craftsmanship while working with Belgian chocolate.  

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