Have your bottle and eat it too – edible containers could be on the way
February 28, 2012
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.
The base ingredients of this revolutionary packaging system are called WikiCells, and they consist of a natural food membrane that is held together by electrostatic forces. Forming a biodegradable shell that can be used as a portable container, the membrane is also is safe to consume. Furthermore, the WikiCells membranes are significantly resistant to water, and adjoined shells could conceivably take the form of a bottle or other liquid container over long periods of time.
To date the Harvard research team have created an orange-flavored membrane for storing orange juice, a tomato-flavored gazpacho container and a grape flavored package for wine. While they have yet to construct a bottle with the WikiCells technology, a prototype is hoped to be developed in the near future.
Farther down the road, Edwards envisions a commercially-available WikiCell Machine, that would allow consumers to create edible membranes using foods and drinks of their choice.