Developers and designers around the globe are currently entering the market with particularly customer-focused and eco-friendly solutions for edible food packaging. It can either be eaten along with the meal or it dissolves while the meal is being prepared.
100% biodegr(edible) Inspired by Jell-O as a moulded desert, the developers had the idea of designing edible cups, now branded LOLIWARE. The innovative packaging uses a plant-based gelatin called Agrar which is well-known in Asia. The cups are tasteless and odourless, so that any natural aromas which are added receive special emphasis, whereas the candy-bright colours of the cups are the result of the fruit or vegetable juice they contain. Moreover the cups are both gluten-free and suitable for a vegan diet. However, eating the cup is optional, and it can also be composted instead. The developers, Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker, who are based in New York, promise that the material is fully biodegradable in a person’s home within 60 days, and the polysaccharide dissolves straightaway, without residue, when placed in water.
Coffee To Go and To Eat It’s been possible for cold drinks, and now it’s also available from hot drinks. Two examples show how innovative combinations of material can be used to produce edible coffee cups. KFC UK has set itself the aim of using only packaging materials from recyclable or sustainable resources for its products. Since the beginning of this year it has been offering sugary sweet edible coffee cups at its Seattle’s Best Coffee restaurants. The coffee cups, made from cookie, are coated with sugar paper and a layer of heat-resistant white chocolate. The available aromas for the cups include coconut, freshly cut grass and wild flowers.
Quite a while ago, in 2003, the Italian coffee company Lavazza, the designer Enrique Sardi and the confectioner Lello Parisi developed the Cookie Cup for Lavazza’s espresso. The dough, which is particularly thick, is moulded and baked in a special tin, the shape of a Lavazza Segno Espresso cup. To ensure that the cookie dough can resist the high temperature of coffee, the inside of the cup is coated with special icing sugar.
Innovative products for the food industry The US company MonoSol specialises in water-soluble food packaging materials. Being transparent, tasteless and odourless, Vivos® Films products dissolve completely in cold and hot liquids. The films are also suitable for fruit and energy drinks, instant teas and coffees, chocolate drinks, gravies and pasta.
A new development called WikiPearl™, created by Prof. David Edwards, a lecturer at Harvard University, is reminiscent of modern creations in molecular cuisine. Inspired by nature, he has designed a natural coating for ice cream, yoghurt, cheese, fruit, vegetables, water, cocktails and soup. The membrane gets its firmness from electrostatics and is suitable for the protection of solid food and also for emulsions, foams and liquids.
Consumers today want to enjoy delicacies on the go; at the same time, they are looking for a more eco-friendly experience. Photo: Metsä Board