Have you ever wondered how people have their images printed on top of their birthday cake? Or even those colorful logos and designs on top of cookies?
If you’re thinking that the image has been printed using regular ink cartridges on an inkjet printer, cut to the desired shape, and then pasted on top of goodies- well, no one could eat that!
Not only would you not want to stuff your mouth with pieces of paper, but also the toxic ink that is present on them.
So, what is it then?
The answer is- the image is printed with edible ink on an edible paper.
Yes, you’ve heard it right!
The images you see on top of cakes, cupcakes, macarons, and cookies are actually printed on edible paper using edible ink. And an inkjet printer that is dedicated only to printing edible images, is used.
If you want to learn more about edible ink and its safety, keep reading!
What Is Edible Ink?
Edible inks are just like the inks you use to print documents and images, with the difference being edible.
Since the early 2000s, it has been widely used by cake decorators and even home bakers to make goodies look unique.
Printing with edible ink requires an inkjet printer that supports such cartridges. But, you can’t use the inkjet printer that you’ve already used for printing with regular ink cartridges.
That’s because regular inks are toxic and can cause ink poisoning when consumed. Like regular ink cartridges, edible ink cartridges can be refilled.
Additionally, an edible paper or frosting sheet is required onto which the image is printed. You can download or select your desired image from your PC and send a print job to print as many copies as you need.
Then you can cut the image with a pair of scissors and then stick it onto cakes. For cookies, you can print your images directly onto them using a special type of printer.
Such printers consist of a rotating tray on which frosted cookies are placed. When the printer is activated, it automatically draws one cookie, prints on its surface, puts it back on the tray, and then draws the next one.
The disc rotates so that the printer can draw the next cookie and put it into place. Apart from just printers, edible inks are also used in decorating pens and canisters to allow bakers to show their creativity.
Is Edible Ink Safe To Eat?
Edible ink ingredients: Unlike regular inks, edible inks are made by mixing water, vegetable oils, and food colorants, which are safe ingredients.
Manufacturers then submit the mixture to FDA for approval. When their products are approved, they are ready to be sold in the market.
If you ever come across an ink that is being labeled as non-toxic, or “For Decorative Purposes Only!”, chances are that it is not non-toxic and FDA-approved.
So, it is a good idea to check the description of the ink cartridge to see whether it is edible and approved by FDA.
What Kind Of Paper To Use?
For printing with edible inks, icing sheets are commonly used.
Icing sheets consist of thin layers of vanilla-flavored icing smoothed onto a plastic backing. Like regular sheets, these sheets can be easily fed into the printer for printing images.
Once an image is printed, you can cut it out with a pair of scissors, remove the backing, and then stick it on top of your cake.
The icing then melts and bonds with the icing or frosting on the cake to leave only the image behind.
So to say, it is safe to consume photographed goodies. You can even make them at your home for birthday parties, Christmas, and other occasions as long as you didn’t already install regular ink cartridges on your brand new inkjet printer.
If you haven’t, good for you, but if you have, then, unfortunately, you will need to purchase another printer for the safety of yourself and your family.
And before you proceed with the printing process, make sure to double-check if the ink is edible and has been approved by FDA.
We hope you’ll enjoy baking photographed goods for your loved ones!
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