Poor Print Quality, Blurry Printing or Print Smearing on my Cookie or Food Item. (Eddie)

Poor Print Quality, Blurry Printing or Print Smearing on my Cookie or Food Item. (Eddie)

1.  Clean the Cartridge.  Follow the procedures in this article to clean the cartridge.  However, instead of using alcohol to clean the cartridge, use distilled water or bottled water.

2. Adjust the printing surface (Icing/Frosting).

The most critical part to obtaining a high-quality print is to use a well-suited frosting. Frostings that are white and that dry hard work best, something similar to a royal icing. Cookies should be flat and consistent in size. Primera sells frosted cookies and frosting kits for those who don’t want to make their own. See the recipe below which will deliver excellent results. (Hint: the secret ingredient is meringue powder.)

For best print quality results follow the specifications below: 
  1. The surface of each cookie should be frosted with the Primera recommended icing, or similar, or use the recipe below.

  2. The surface should be as smooth as possible.

  3. The surface should be hard to the touch and completely dry.  If there is excess moisture in the frosting it is possible the print will bloom or become blurry if it is placed in an individual bag.  Bagged cookies retain moisture and that excess moisture can be redeposited on the surface of the cookie causing it to bleed.  If this happens reduce the saturation value present in the printer driver. 

  4. The color of the icing should be bright white.  The white surface makes the Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow colors match as close as possible to the image on your computer screen.  It also creates a vibrant bright image.
  5. If you are not using frosting and are printing directly to the surface of the cookie (Example: Macrons) you may notice that your prints are not as vibrant and are slightly blurry.  This is to be expected since the ink soaks into the surface more and the surface is not necessarily white. 

Recipe for Royal Icing

The key to making this icing is adding meringue powder to get an icing that will harden well and have a little air in it to absorb ink.  It is crucial to get the consistency right so that the icing will flood well and give a smooth and flat surface for printing, but not so thin that it takes too long to dry.

·         3 Tbsp. meringue powder

·         ⅜ cup warm water

·         3 ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

·         1 ½ tsp. vanilla or almond extract

Step 1: Combine the meringue powder and warm water in a bowl.  Wisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is frothy.

Step 2: Add confectioner’s sugar and mix for about 2 minutes until the icing is smooth.  Add vanilla or other flavoring and mix well. 

Step 3: Add additional warm water or confectioner’s sugar in small increments to achieve the desired consistency for flooding the cookies.  Adding water will make the icing thinner, adding sugar will make it thicker. Add enough water that the cookies will flood with a smooth surface, but not so much that the icing takes too long to harden completely.

Step 4: Use a piping bag to flood the cookies.  Start by outlining the cookie and then fill in the middle.  Make sure the surface is smooth and completely filled.  Let them sit out until the icing is completely hardened. Do not store in a package that allows moisture buildup (like sealed plastic bags) as it could damage the smooth hardened surface of the frosting. 

Article ID: 020421