BUSINESS

It’s time to choose edible packaging for your product

Consider walking into a grocery shop where everything is wrapped in edible skins and no other packaging. You could consume your ice cream or protein bar directly off the shelf, container or even wrapper. Consider biodegradable skins and shells, such as those found on fruits. Do you have a fear of germs? Would you be hesitant to consume the edible packaging and the food product within, unsure what this “edible” package contains? While Custom edible packaging innovations are increasing, customers are reluctant to try these innovative items due to many unknown factors.

However, edibles packaging may deliver more sustainable products while benefiting the environment and reducing landfill waste from packaging. Food packaging technology advancements might ease food storage and preparation, decreasing food and packaging waste and leaching chemicals from packaging into meals.

Custom edibles packaging may appear to be a unique concept

While Custom edibles packaging may appear to be a unique concept, it isn’t. All kinds of items arrive in their protective skin in nature and the world around us. Potato skins are a delicacy, while lemon peels serve as a water-repellent protective coating for the fruit and a fragrant and tasty complement to baked foods and savoury meals. Other manufactured foods, such as sausages, mochi (Japanese ice cream in a soft, sticky rice shell), and caramel sweets packed with a soft centre, make use of the edible wrapper idea.

We didn’t convert to alternative packaging materials, such as plastic, until the twentieth century, when petroleum-derived chemicals substituted naturally sourced resources. The attempt to return to bio-based packaging materials will rely on renewable resources annually. Edibles packaging and coatings can be manufactured from carbs, lipids, or proteins, depending on their use.

1) Food wrapped in food

Stonyfield Farm, Inc. was among the first to sell edibles packaging materials in supermarkets. WikiPearls, made of algae and calcium, are encase in a protective skin like a grape and may be handle and wash like a piece of fruit. They function similarly to human skin, replicating the natural barrier that keeps everything within the body. These edible food wrappers have no flavour, eliminating the need for plastic spoons or wrappers, and maybe cleaned and eaten whole or broken down fast when peeled off and discarded. The taste of the shells can be change to suit what’s within; for example, frozen yoghurt pearls come in sweet flavours like banana chocolate and strawberry chocolate.

Stonyfield presently offers frozen yoghurt pearls at some Foods stores, either in prepackaged wood fiber bags or over the counter. Consumers place the pearls in personal bags, egg cartons, other containers. Stonyfield’s long-term objective of eliminating packaging for prepackaged foods remains a long way off.

2) Food paired with an edible/biodegradable packaging

Tomorrow Machine, a Swedish firm, is creating a string of containers with the same shelf life as the food they contain. To release the oil, an “oil package” constructed of caramelized sugar covered with wax is split open like an egg. The “smoothie package” is made of agar, a seaweed-based gel, and water. And it withers away as the smoothie is consumed. The “rice package” is composed of beeswax and is peeled open like fruit to reveal the dry components inside, such as grains or flour. All of these containers are edible as well as biodegradable. While not yet commercially accessible, these bundles are a smart innovation that may be launch following more market research; customers are ready for the evolution.

3) A cup or container to be eat with its beverage

Several firms are getting in on the new edible packaging innovation trend. Loliware, a start-up firm in the United States, released a biodegradable and edible cup in early 2014. Their cups appear to be glass but taste like flavoured Jell-O or sweets. Loliware cups are manufacture of seaweed agar, sugar, tapioca starch, vegan gelatin, and natural flavours and colours.

“Ooho!” an edible “water ball” meant to replace plastic water bottles is another idea. It resembles a jellyfish intended to emulate natural membranes like those found in egg yolks. The outer layer (form from brown algae and calcium chloride) can be eat or thrown away after drinking the water because it is biodegradable.

4) Container that dissolves

Monosol has released a polymer pouch that is both edible and dissolvable. Based on their water-soluble layer (also used in Tide detergent tablets). This pouch is a precise combination of food ingredients with no odour or flavour and entirely dissolves in water (cold or hot), leaving the meal ready to consume.  The concept is comparable to gel caps used for pharmaceutical pills in that customers must adjust to the notion that the pouch is not plastic but food.

5) Edible packaging served at quick-service restaurants

KFC introduced edible coffee cups in the United Kingdom in 2015, consisting of cookies and white chocolate wrapped in sugar paper. While these cups gave a “wow” factor and reduced the consumption of paper cups, were they a wise idea? What about the additional cost and resources necessary to create the cookie? Is it safe to hold hot coffee in a cookie cup, and would customers eat the cookie cup owing to the added calories? The edible packaging cups, however innovative, did not stick around long.

Bob’s, a Brazilian fast-food company, sells their burgers wrapped in edible paper. It serves as a napkin for a less-messy dining experience and lowers paper waste for clients who do not want to unwrap their hamburger before eating it. Like the Wikibars and the prior three quick-service eateries mentioned, consumers at point-of-service restaurants are more compliant with edible packaging. While customers may not be ready for edible wraps or skins outside packaging, what about packaging within packaging? Like gum wrappers, individual portions of chips or snacks inside a large bag, cereal inside a box, and so on. This might be the main route for establishing the usage of edibles packaging in the marketplace. As more items are introduce with edibles packaging, customers’ attitudes may shift.

It only takes one measure at a time. Wasting less food and packaging, and reducing waste to landfills, appears to be a concept worth exploring, giving time to overcome any consumer issues that may arise.

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