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The new MRE pizza being tried out by the troops (Photo: US Army)

Pizza with a three-year shelf life will soon be joining the US Army's field rations menu. These infamous MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat) have a long and checkered history, acquiring such sobriquets over the years as "Meals Rejected by Everyone" and "Materials Resembling Edibles." Pizza has long topped the list of requested meals, but the task of providing a palatable slice of this complex food that will survive the required three-year shelf life has foiled all attempts. Now, the folks at Natick's Combat Feeding Directorate have achieved a minor miracle in food technology: stopping time for a slice of pizza.  Read More

Cardboard – it can be used for making more than just boxes

Cardboard has long been proven a very flexible material, used to create products as wide-ranging as bicycles, helmets, buildings, and even a car. Join us now, as we celebrate the most innovative uses of the material that we've come across in recent years.  Read More

Eden's Paper wrapping paper contains seeds which grow into vegetables once planted (Photo:...

As the holiday season gets into full swing, one inevitable byproduct of the widespread cheer will be masses of waste wrapping paper. One interesting idea to reduce this comes via Eden's Paper, which is billed as a "100 percent plantable wrapping paper," and can be used to grow vegetables by simply placing the paper into some soil, adding water, and waiting for nature to do its thing.  Read More

The functioning Smart Sensor Label prototype

Are you sure that the chicken you just bought has been kept cool from the time it left the plant to the moment you stuck it in your shopping cart? Well, you could be if it had one of Thinfilm Electronics' Smart Sensor Labels on the packaging.  Read More

The Helix cork boasts the benefits of a traditional cork, but can be removed with a twist

What could be nicer than a picnic in a pleasant country field, a rotisserie chicken, a loaf of oven-hot bread and a nice bottle of wine? That is, provided you don't forget the corkscrew. This week, Amorim, the world’s largest manufacturer of cork stoppers, and O-I, the world's largest glass container manufacturer, made this nightmare scenario a little less likely by unveiling their Helix cork and bottle that are designed so that the cork can be removed with a simple twist of the wrist.  Read More

The Zero Waste Twist Dispenser is a prototype container designed to let consumers use ever...

Does it bother you that you can’t get all of the liquid out of the bottom of a hand-pump-equipped container? Well, the folks at Pack Flow Concepts think that it should. According to them, such containers don’t dispense up to 15 percent of the ketchup, shampoo, soap or other liquid stored inside of them. That’s why Pack Flow is developing the Zero Waste Twist Dispenser.  Read More

A research group at MIT has developed LiquiGlide, a slippery, non-toxic coating that makes...

It's one of the most common and infuriating dining problems everyone encounters: getting ketchup to pour smoothly out of bottle and onto your plate. You've probably heard a number of solutions from "tap the 57" to "spin the bottle between your hands," but even those methods can still drown your fries in sauce in the end. Luckily, science - or rather, a research group working at MIT - has finally taken notice and concocted an impressive solution. By coating the inside of any bottle with the slippery LiquiGlide coating, anything from ketchup to mayonnaise to jam flows right out like water, barely leaving a smudge behind.  Read More

Food and drink containers such as these could soon be available in a novel edible form (Ph...

Created by the same man who came up with Le Whif (inhalable chocolate) and Aeroshot (aerosol caffeine boost), portable containers for food and drinks could soon be available in a novel edible form. The project emerged out of an idea put forth by Dr. David Edwards from Harvard University's Wyss Institute. The plastic-free products would be a useful alternative to take-away containers, lunch boxes, and drink bottles, while reducing the environmental concerns often associated with plastic production and recycling.  Read More

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for transf...

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for transforming two-dimensional print output into 3-D structures, using nothing but light. A pre-stressed polymer sheet is fed into a conventional inkjet printer, which applies black stripes to areas designed to be used as hinges. The desired pattern is then cut out and subjected to infrared light. The material contracts at the hinges, and the sheet collapses into a predefined 3D structure. Dr. Michael Dickey, who co-authored a paper describing the research, says the process could be used for packaging purposes and could be applied to high-volume manufacturing.  Read More

A new technology is able to convert paper mill waste into bio-foam (Photo: P199)

In a world increasingly concerned with waste, the smart manufacturers are identifying ways of utilizing the by-products of manufacturing and creating two products from one process. One example – a graduate student in agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a way of creating foam from the waste from paper mills, radically reducing waste from paper production and creating two products that are highly valuable and in demand.  Read More

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