The world of edible printing isn't as simple as normal printing. Reds often have an orange hue, greys can look green in certain lights and once you perfect your custom colors, you may even find out that even the paper you print on can create different colors all together. I am putting this information together for all edible printing professionals out there because one rotten apple can ruin the bunch and I hope those adding edible images to their custom cakes can learn a big lesson that I have learned the hard way.
I have tried many different brands of frosting paper in my years of edible printing. Some are so sweet, the minute you open the bag your senses are filled with sugar. Others, are almost tasteless and thin. Though I use to find that I used ONE paper and stuck with it, I found that all papers have their pros and cons. And, considering my business is 90% shipping, I always have to factor in the climate and what papers can handle being shipped.
Upon ordering supply from one of my vendors, I came across a good price and shipping on one of tastiest papers in the business. Their paper is much more like candy than most others and thought not BRIGHT WHITE, it also does dry out as quickly as some. I was excited to use it again, as it had been years since I kept them in stock as the cost of shipping made it difficult to justify with so many other brands out there.
I started printing with the new papers and started noticing that "my printer" was having color issues. Everything I was printing seemed a little off. The purples more blue, my flesh colors more green and my reds more brown. It was so troubling, I purchased all new edible inks and tried to remedy it that way. I then switched to all new cartridges by a different manufacturer with still the same results. For a solid week you would have thought I had gone crazy, taking my machine apart, threatening to switch machines all together. I started pricing out an Epson Edible Printer that was going to cost me near $1,000 when all was said and done. Before placing that final order and at the end of my rope, I had an epiphany, that perhaps this was not my problem at all, that this was beyond my control but I had to test the theory.
So, I had a Walking Dead image I thought would be perfect to test my theory that this was not my printer or my problem at all. When I went to print, I selected to print 2 and use one sheet of the new, tasty paper and one sheet of the bright white, tasteless paper that I have used for almost every project in the past year. You wouldn't believe my shock when the new tasty paper was the only paper that had the green tint. I replicated the print with regular stock paper too, no green tint. I then decided to contact the manufacturer of the paper directly and see if they could refund me or help me find out how to use their paper so that I am happy with the results.
I called them directly and explained my problem, that I can print the same image, during the same print session and on their paper and it has a green tint and on my other branded paper it looks perfect. I urged them to help me find out if this was a bad batch, as the paper tastes so good and is easy for me to get my hands on. It also is the paper used by other companies as the bar-coded edible media for their licensed print systems. All the information was taken, I emailed over photos of what was happening and waiting. The next day I received an email stating:
"We have tried to duplicate your issue here but our images are coming out just fine. With that said, please make sure that your Printing Preferences for the Canon IX6820 are set as such:
PRINT QUALITY - "HIGH"
MEDIA TYPE - "HIGH RESOLUTION PAPER"
So, with that said and me sitting on a few hundred dollars of edible paper that may result in the same greening effect, I had no choice but to second-guess my doubt of their paper. It's been a few weeks now, I have two other manufacturers I go to and do not have any issues with the green tint unless I try to use up the stockpile of problematic paper. I have even open new batches, wide format, and regular size with the same effects. Being the professional I am, I won't call any company out, all products, companies and services have their pros and cons, but in this case I know a huge con that makes using this particular edible frosting sheet manufacturer unreliable for colors as you can see from the multiple examples I have made since first discovering the problem. All photos are unfiltered. That being said, I sent a follow up email with some of these samples back to the manufacturer who responded with:
“It appears that one or two colors are not being outputted. Please place in the Original Ink Tanks and do a couple of test prints onto regular paper and see if that rectifies the issue. Also, please make sure that your settings are set as such:
PRINT QUALITY - "PHOTO"
PAPER OPTION - "PREMIUM PRESENTATION PAPER MATTE"
PRINT QUALITY - "HIGH"
MEDIA TYPE - "HIGH RESOLUTION PAPER"
Funny, if two of my colors are NOT being outputted, my printer is brilliant and only decides to hold back on their paper. So, I wanted to end this blog with urging you to not settle with a edible image printing problem always being your printer, the edible paper you print on can be the problem with your colors. Do research, try other products and don't give up if something just doesn't make sense.
All the prints that turned out correctly were printed on this particular paper available for sale on my website. There are many others available that I plan to test in a future blog.
Printed both of these images during same print batch. Greening effect only happened on the tasty paper!
Printed both of these images during same print batch. Greening effect only happened on the tasty paper! So, looks like the edible red bandana on the top is very much different than the faded, brownish image that produced on the bottom.
My popular Aged Music Sheets that I sell on both wafer paper and frosting paper yielding a green hue on the tasty paper.
An order for some cupcake toppers for celebrating an 80th Birthday gave the same results again, giving a green hue to her.
Bark Samples for some new edible bark wraps for cakes I am excited about, have a green hue instead of grey..... same print batch of course.
Finally, I had to share my custom colored peacock feathers that should be green with a slight purple hue inside. Though the lighting in this photo is not the best, you can see the difference in colors as the second photo it's more blue than purple.
At this point, with the manufacturer just putting it as my printers output issues. I just double print for fun. Again, I printed two in the batch and two very different images from the same exact print cycle came out.
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