A fairly new way to prepare sweet treats like cookies is 3D printing. The technology makes it possible to create complex, reproducible 3D structures impossible to make by hand alone, and can also help with more customized nutritional requirements.
Tim Meuleman, a student at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands, recently wrote a thesis paper, titled “Sugar reduction in cookies by using 3D food printing,” on using 3D printing to achieve sugar reduction in cookies.
The goal of Meuleman’s thesis was to investigate the effect of different sugar replacements in cookie dough, along with the structuring of the cookies based on properties such as shape stability, taste, and texture.
Meuleman used an adapted version of a recipe for a 3D printable dough that he wrote had been “found by unpublished internal experiments at TNO (The Hague, the Netherlands), acquired via Stefano Renzetti,” and chose the various sugar replacers because of the variations between their molecular weight; this allowed him to observe how cookie properties, like dry matter content and texture, were influenced.
He concluded that 3D printing was a good way to lower the sugar content in cookies, because it does not negatively influence the texture and also increases the perceived sweetness without having to add any artificial sweeteners.
Future research could focus on developing dough that is easier to 3D print.