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Ready-to-eat packaging in stores ‘soon’

April 19, 2012 3 Comments »

Consumers will be able to eat packaging within the next year, due to a US-based firm and a Harvard professor developing edible packs

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Manufacturer of water soluble polymer films Monosol and Harvard wizard Dr David Edwards and his team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute, say that they will soon start marketing edible packaging.

Both say that the market has yet to be tapped. It will help reduce dependency on plastic as well as the overall amount of food waste.

The Indiana-based-company Monosol is closer to marketing their new product, but it cannot be used with wet goods or drinks.  It said that their product is at least a year or two away from appearing on shelves.

Known for products like dishwasher detergent pods, Monosol is working on edible packaging for items like hot chocolate, drink sticks and oatmeal.

Monosol product development manager Jon Gallagher told Fast Company: “If we get our films in just 10% of the [$22 billion] instant-coffee market, or in the oatmeal or hot-chocolate markets, we could more than triple the size of our business.”

The Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, created edible packaging called WikiCells, and studied water-storing fruits like grapes.

Described on the Harvard website, WikiCells is a “natural food membrane held together by electrostatic forces and containing a liquid, emulsion, foam, or solid food substance possibly within an edible or biodegradable shell.”