Many of us foodies are very concern about how much delicious food we left in the plate. Child inside of us never let us wastes single grain of favourite food. So instead of licking plate, what if we could eat it as well !!!
Edible or biodegradable packages let us do that. Ok, it was fun part above, but when we seriously look around the world, empty wrappers of fast foods are creating a disaster.
'Statistics say food wrapping and containers contribute to
the significant chunk of the 23 percent of packaging-related
landfill additions each year.'
Edible packaging can be a solution to this problem.
What exactly is the edible packaging?
Edible packaging is packaging made to be eaten or have the ability to biodegrade itself as food. This research is still in its infancy but this type of packaging comes in many forms and continuously being improved. one of the oldest forms of this type of packaging is capsules in pharmaceutical containing the powdered drug that needs to be taken in prescribed quantity but difficult to form in tablets. So these kinds of small containers are made up of gelatin or polymers so we can easily take them inside.
In 2016, KFC announces to launch edible bowls for their famous dish, curry, and rice to move on from plastic packaging materials. And in the USA, KFC has tried to make a coffee cup that is made up of a hard cookie and thin layer of chocolate inside that is resistant to heat. This way the cup can be eaten after the coffee is consumed.
In India, Bakey's foods have made an edible cutlery. That’s how you can use your cutlery and eat it too. These cutleries are made with dough made from the mixture of sorghum, rice, and wheat flours, kneaded with hot water and baked in molds.
'Bakers is currently experimenting with molds to produce
chopsticks, dessert spoons, and forks, and eventually get
into manufacturing cups, plates, and other traditional
disposable tableware to fight against a plastic.'
You can hear to Mr. Narayan Peesapaty the founder of Bakey's at TEDx Amsterdam
The newer forms of edible packaging are being made up from milk proteins and used as casein films. These films are oxygen blocking, keeping food fresh as compared to plastics. Some manufacturers have added citrus pectin to make it strong against humidity and temperature.
Wiki food Company has developed a wikicell, a biodegradable, film-like the membrane to carry a different foodstuff. These shells are made from isomalt, kind of sugar substitute.
Advantages of edible packaging
Consumers are becoming very environmentally conscious. They are very aware of the waste that they are generating since edible packaging eliminates the wastage as they can be eaten or composted, won’t end up in landfills.
Some edible packaging material contains strong barrier properties and hence naturally prevents food from getting spoiled.
What shortcomings are with edible packaging?
There are some disadvantages came with edible packaging. Water-soluble edible packaging cannot behold up in humid climates. Sanitation of edible packaging will also be hampered during transportation. Some edible packaging will still require outer packaging to keep it safe and would not be biodegradable and eco-friendly.
A mentality of shopper would also affect the buying decision of edible packaged food, as they don’t have the habit to eat wrappers!!
Future of edible packaging
Currently, Production of such material is mostly at the research level and use is limited.
'As research is ongoing but it is expected that the use of
edible packaging material in food has a bright future as it
decreases use of plastic wrappers and prevent food naturally.'
In conclusion, edible food packaging is contributing to success toward sustainable and green packaging. Changing the minds of customers who are habitual to seeing the plastic packaging is important. Overall research and development are on the way, so soon we could be seeing edible packages and plates on our table!!
(The content of this blog has been published by the marketing team of Long Tail Procurement Solutions Pvt Ltd. Long Tail Procurement Solutions drives India’s leading dedicated Packaging E-commerce site. You can get all your packaging requirements either in bulk or unit quantity here. Visit us at (www.picknpack.in)