Using a Canon G-Series Printer for Edible Printing

As the use of tank printers becomes more popular, (printers that you pour ink into ink tanks as opposed to using ink cartridges) they are appearing in all applications.

Using a tank printer for edible printing is a great idea and something that HobbyPrint has been pushing for quite a while, all be it at a low level whilst we worked to learn of any issues and how to overcome them as they came up. The Canon G-Series printers are very good in edible printing applications.

One issue that we are concerned with when using the printer as an edible printer, is that the printheads supplied with the Canon G-series printers are prefilled with ink during production. The black cartridge contains approx 4ml of pigment black ink and the Cyan, Magenta & Yellow cartridges contain approx 2ml each of dye inks.

After a fair bit of testing and observing, we think that the cartridges are pre-filled in order to assist with the ink priming from the ink tanks, through the carrier tubes and into the printheads. We have noticed that the black ink tube can take a while to prime and by having the cartridges pre-filled, the printer will print normally whilst the ink tubes properly prime. (Fill with ink all the way from tank to printheads)

HobbyPrint has taken the view that it is not a great idea to supply edible printers with normal ink in the printhead cartridges. Accordingly, before we supply a G-Series tank printer for edible printing, we have decided that we will only supply printers that have been cleaned to remove the pre-filled inks.

We have come up with a couple of ways to go here, the first is to open up the printhead cartridges to clean them thoroughly and replace the sponges inside. This worked a treat but was costly, time-consuming, and a little hit-and-miss.

What we have settled for is a cleaning procedure that cleans the printheads and the sponges to an acceptable level to allow them to be used for edible printing. The advantage of this is that we can also supply this kit and the procedure, as well as an edible printer conversion kit, to customers who have chosen to buy the printer themselves and then convert it for edible printing.

This makes us less competitively priced when compared to customers creating their own DIY kit or when buying from other companies who supply G-Series printers as edible printers and who do not clean out the pre-filled inks. As a company, we are fine with this. We prefer to be cautious when supplying any product that is food-related. There will also be food standards and food hygiene regulations as well as food contact materials regulations that will apply to this issue.

We are in the early stages of contact with the food standards and other agencies. We have contacted them for advice in order to go through our processes to make certain that the G-series printers that we sell for edible printing, are in line with any regulations. This should give our customers the confidence to use the printers and sell on any printed toppers without comebacks to them.

We have enclosed a couple of links below that discuss printer inks in terms of “how dangerous printer inks are to humans if they are consumed/ingested”. This is in terms of toxicity, poison or irritants. Confusing so we will let the reader decide.

Is Printer Ink Toxic?

The ink you find in modern-day ink cartridges is mostly non-toxic, meaning it will not pose a health risk to humans if accidentally exposed to the liquid. The main components found in ordinary ink include water, alcohol, and ethylene; all of which confect into a relatively harmless concoction. Read more …..

Is Printer Ink Edible?

Once you used normal ink in an inkjet printer, the printer is contaminated and it can no longer be used for edible printing as it may contain some portions of non-edible chemicals which are always toxic and harmful to your health. Read more ………

Will Ingesting Ink Kill You?

Read Here …..,need%20to%20do%20anything%20else.

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