Claimed to be the world’s first personalised 3D printed chocolate at scale, the Swiss company will be providing the service through its global decoration brand Mona Lisa.
Barry Callebaut said the move revolutionised the world of chocolate craft by combining industry-leading production technology, bespoke design and the company’s own expertise in Belgian chocolate.
It added that the service would allow chefs to craft their own unique creations and reproduce them rapidly and affordably, no matter how intricate or specific the design.
The Mona Lisa 3D Studio is said to be equipped with innovative precision technology, capable of printing thousands of pieces at a time, with each retaining a bespoke handmade appearance.
Customers are able to personalise a chocolate decoration with their unique design, shape and size preferences, before a team of designers transform the product into a digital 3D prototype with samples.
Quickly reproduced at scale
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.
The service will be first available to chefs, hotels, coffee chains and restaurant establishments in specific European countries.
Innovation was an important pillar of Barry Callebaut’s “smart growth” strategy, said Pablo Perversi, chief innovation, sustainability and quality officer and head of gourmet at Barry Callebaut.
“I am delighted that the Mona Lisa 3D Studio allows chefs to create unique consumer experiences at scale,” Perversi said. “This technological breakthrough innovation positions the Mona Lisa brand at the forefront of the industry and strengthens Barry Callebaut’s global leadership in decorations.”
As part of the launch of the 3D Studio, Mona Lisa teamed up with world-renowned pastry chef Jordi Roca to create a unique 3D printed piece made out of chocolate.
His creation, ‘Flor de Cacao’, represents a cocoa bean that opens up like a cacao flower through contact with hot chocolate sauce.
‘New way of working with chocolate’
“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,” said 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.”
Mona Lisa 3D Studio’s first customer is Van der Valk, a hotel chain in the Netherlands.
A recent Barry Callebaut study found that 70% of consumers wanted to try new and exciting chocolate experiences – and six out of 10 were keen to share them 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.
The Mona Lisa brand is mainly produced in seven specialist Barry Callebaut factories in western Europe and North America.
Barry Callebaut operates more than 60 production facilities worldwide and has a workforce of more than 12,000 people.
In January, Barry Callebaut UK manager Richard Terme spoke to Food Manufacture following a £24m investment in the manufacturer’s site in Banbury, Oxfordshire.