Ever heard of printing on edible paper? This printing technology is very popular not only in the confectionery industry but also in the food industry in general. You’ve probably wondered whether the label with the manufacturer’s logo on a loaf of bread is edible or not. Find out with us how printing on edible paper works and how you can test it on your home inkjet printer, for example.
Printing on edible paper works just like normal printing with an inkjet printer. Edible paper is used instead of ordinary office paper and special edible ink is used instead of ordinary ink. And yes, the finished print can of course be eaten.
The origins of edible printing technology date back to the 1980s. Since then, printing on edible paper has spread. Today it is a widely used method to decorate not only confectionery but also finished products such as edible pastry labels or edible banknotes.
Read also: The Digital Age — What Does It Mean For The Food Industry?
Edible ink for food use
There are 2 types of edible ink. One type is intended for manual use. It is used for coloring and decorating mainly confectionery, using a variety of special pens, brushes, and sprays. The second type is suitable for printing directly onto edible paper and is available in ink cartridges. These can be used in special edible printers as well as in the most common inkjet printers.
What is food coloring in edible ink cartridges made of? The edible ink contains water, glycerin, preservatives, and food coloring that determines the final color of the ink. As with traditional printer ink cartridges, edible cartridges are commonly used in the CMYK color range – magenta, cyan, yellow and black.
Edible paper is the basic material for making edible decorations. You can think of it as a thin waffle. Maybe that’s why it’s also called wafers or rice paper. It consists of starch, natural or artificial sweeteners, and vegetable oil. Edible paper is made in a variety of styles – thinner and thicker. It’s practically tasteless.
Printing on edible paper is also possible with a normal office printer
Printing on edible paper is not only a matter for specialized printers, but can also be realized on many classic office inkjet printers. Laser printers are not used for edible printing at all. So if you want to introduce printing on edible paper on your HP inkjet printer, make sure it is in good shape by visiting HP service centers like printer repair Dubai. You can easily find the closest printer service in your area by doing a simple Google search.
Although a standard inkjet printer is sufficient to print with edible ink, forget that you would simply replace the classic ink cartridges with edible ones and print treats on an edible paper. If you want to start with edible printing, you just have to reserve the printer for this purpose, which has not previously come into contact with ordinary ink.
If you choose a specific inkjet printer model for printing on edible paper, you need one that can print on heavy paper (edible paper is thicker) and can handle food-grade cartridges. You should obtain this information from the manufacturer or retailer.
Printing on edible paper is not for everyone
Not only do you need the printer, but you also need edible ink and cleaning cartridges. The problem of clogged nozzles is very common in inkjet printers. Conventional printer ink, therefore, contains chemicals that help dissolve the dried ink residue in the nozzles and clean the print head. Edible inks do not contain these solvents, so using them will dry the printhead much more often. The only solution is to print regularly – when printing on edible paper, you shouldn’t take a break for more than three days, every day is the best to print.
You’re probably aware by now that printing on edible paper at home isn’t that easy. If you don’t want to professionally deal with printing on edible paper, you can decorate your birthday cake with ready-made motifs or have your own motif printed on an edible paper.