Saturday, 08 August 2020

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Edible Food Packaging

Whenever you think about food packaging you do not really think about the wrapper or container, you only think about what is inside the packaging. But now, engineers have created edible food packaging. For example, the Italian coffee company, Lavazza, has created an edible coffee cup made of cookie dough. (Esko) So after you are done drinking your coffee, you can eat your cookie cup to add flavor. You could even eat the cup while you drink your coffee.

This new creation can help reduce the waste that people create. Because even though recycling exists, many people still litter. But with this innovation, that problem can be reduced. There are other products that have also been introduced to this innovation. Many people drink tea. The thing is that whenever you want to drink it you must heat up the water and place the bag inside the cup with hot water. Well now with the new concept that the MonoSol Company has created, you can place the tea bag in hot or cold water and do not have to worry about removing the bag because it dissolves in the water. (Esko)

Many of the products that are bought in grocery stores are covered in various kinds of plastics, which could be harmful to the products that are inside. (ACS Chemistry For Life) The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designed a film made from milk casein. This new design improves the amount of oxygen that is kept outside of the product. Also, it is made from milk and it is edible. (ACS Chemistry For Life) This new product can help the distributors and packers to improve the quality and freshness of the product. The harmfulness of the plastic that is used today can be decreased and improved later in the future.

This new plastic must be able to resist the conditions that regular packaged food must go through. Researchers tried to find ways to improve the protein casein by adding citrus pectin, which helped the component to resist more humidity and higher temperatures. (Ramkumar) Milk casein can be used for other food products or other products in general. One of the things that the milk casein can be used for is cereal. Cereal is covered by sugar so that it will not become soggy. This could be changed by applying milk casein onto the cereal to prevent it from becoming soggy. By doing this procedure, the cereal will remain crunchy and fresh and it will not be covered in sugar. Researchers are also looking for ways to make the milk casein have flavor and have more nutrients. (Ramkumar)

As every new product in the market, milk casein wrapping has its disadvantages. People who are allergic to milk can have serious problems with this product. According to the Mayo Clinic, milk allergies are of the most common food allergies. (Gadd) It would not be the best thing for everyone. On the other hand, the casein is biodegradable which means that even though you may not want to consume the edible plastic, it will not cause any damage. (Gadd)

The plastic wrapping that is used for food products is supposed to prevent spoilage. Many researchers have come to the conclusion that it is not very efficient. The milk based protein wrapping will prevent the food from spoiling. (ACS Chemistry For Life) It could also add proteins later on in the future. Another invention that is edible is the wiki cell. The wiki cell is an edible skin that takes the place of plastic packaging and protects the food or liquid within. (Spector) For example, an orange has a skin layer in order to protect the inside of the fruit. The inventor of the wiki cell is David Edwards, a professor at Harvard University. (Spector) The food packaging industry is improving everyday with new ideas such as edible packaging and food-friendly plastics used to package food.

References

ACS Chemistry For Life. 21 August 2016. 16 March 2017.

Esko. n.d. 17 March 2017.

Gadd, Emily. Heathline. 22 August 2016. 16 March 2017.

Ramkumar, Amrith. Bloomberg. 22 August 2016. 16 March 2017.

Spector, Dina. Business Insider. 30 August 2012. 17 March 2017.

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