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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Human Nutrition Unit

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Glyc’3D: Investigation of the glycation reaction on the texturing of food products produced by 3D printing.



WHO predicts about 20 to 30% of total toothless people in the world in the 2030s. Older people with dental losses are moving to foods that are less difficult to chew but also less nutritionally desirable. This is the case of meat, often eliminated from the diet; which leads to a protein deficiency that can have serious consequences. The objective of our project is to design dietary supplements that are compatible with the masticatory difficulties of the target population, based on animal and / or vegetable proteins that can be improved, and using a disruption method: 3D printing. Different challenges will be encountered: the control of the glycation reaction, the multi-scale characterization of the printed product by imaging methods (microscopy, mass spectrometry), as well as in vitro mastication tests and oral behavior. during the formation of a bolus, and can be swallowed without risk of misdirection (high risk in edentulous seniors).


This project thus presents four distinct axes which are complementary:

  • The optimization of the reaction parameters for the texturing of the protein matrix by glycation, using a gelatin-based model medium at first;
  • The effect of extrusion induced by 3D printing on the ultrastructure of the glycated matrix: Ultrastructural characterization by electron microscopy, and molecular imaging by MALDI-TOF and FT-IR mass spectrometry;
  • The textural characterization of this matrix by rheological measurements and the characterization of the properties of the bolus obtained by in vitro mastication with an artificial masticator
  • Start of formulation of a dietary supplement based on animal and / or vegetable proteins.

Partners and outcomes:

The collaboration between the INRA's QuaPA and UNH units and the UCA's CROC makes it possible to envisage the development of alternative nutritional solutions (food supplements or even foods) for people with a chewing deficiency, which he they are elderly, disabled or convalescent. This tripartite collaboration makes it possible to combine technical, physiological and clinical skills that can ultimately bring real nutritional solutions to targeted populations at risk of malnutrition. Research on food 3D printing worldwide shows the growing interest of this disruption method to adapt and personalize food, especially in healthcare facilities.