Food and Pharma

The future of food and pharma is personal. As manufacturers strive to create ever-more tailored solutions, they rely on TNO’s unique expertise and world-class technologies to achieve greater success. We support the industry with process research and machine technologies to create food and medicines with unique functionalities, personalised to specific needs. Together with our partners, we help prepare the industry for the future.

Applied knowledge and expertise

For more than 25 years, TNO has been building expertise in additive manufacturing technology and machine concepts for industrial applications. Today, we apply that expertise in the domain of food and pharma. From fused filament fabrication to extrusion printing, and from powder bed printing to laser sintering, we apply the processes and techniques best suited for the material and create machine concepts to scale these technologies to production level.

Digital drug manufacturing

The pharmaceutical industry is striving to find safe, swift, economical methods to flexibly produce oral dosage forms at small to medium scale, for specific target groups. And personalised medicine offers the promise of more targeted patient care and better human health. TNO works with the industry to find solutions that ensure accuracy and process control, while safeguarding composition and the ability to produce at scale.

With TNO’s technology, oral dosage forms containing one or more Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) can be customised to the needs of a specific patient. This allows us to create tablets with unique properties, such as tunable release profiles or different release rates for each individual API. TNO has also developed lab-scale setups that our clients use for research and development of 3-D printed oral dosage forms. Together, we are unlocking the potential of 3-D printing as an enabling technology for cost-effective, small-scale product manufacturing.

Digital food processing

TNO investigates possibilities for shaping, designing textures and personalising food. The ever-increasing demand for unique new food products, combined with the need for personalised nutrition solutions, is driving manufacturers to explore 3-D printing as a way to develop new textures, unique shapes and exciting compositions. And more sustainable food products empower consumers to make healthier food choices and a more satisfying food experience.

TNO recently developed a 3-D pasta printer and process for Barilla, one of the world’s leading pasta producers. In addition to enabling Barilla to experiment with new pasta shapes and textures, the work is also delivering new consumer data about food products that are most appealing to consumers. TNO has developed the expertise to 3-D print a wide range of food products, from dairy to baked goods, and can begin with any material base desired: powder, paste or liquid.

Partnerships that accelerate

In the Digital Food Processing Initiative (DFPI), TNO collaborates with Wageningen University & Research and TU/e High Tech Systems Center to focus on developments in the food sector. These include nutrition and the use of alternative proteins. With flexible production technologies, we turn alternative proteins into products with desirable structures and textures. These flexible and digital production technologies help to realise fully personalised nutrition. Within the DFPI, we combine food science, equipment and high-tech systems to uncover the future of food.

Expertise groups

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