Thursday, September 24, 2015

Drink the juice and eat the container – Digest the future !

Food Packages, most of the times, mess up with your routine works! A worn white kurti, while opening your lunch box? To overcome this, the packaging industry has been constantly been working hard to deliver sustainable alternate systems. More substantively than cosmetic details like labels or logos, a food’s container will counsel whimsy, environmental consciousness, or engineering. Packaging provides consumers’ initial and last impressions of a product. And obviously, yes, the gluttons are getting carried away extensively by the packaging, as well.
 Global Food packaging industry is a mammoth sector that has been projected to reach a value of $310 million by 2019. Numbers suggesting positive growth in this arena is a cheerful sign; however, excess usage of plastic packaging materials is a serious environmental threat. For the alarming concern, the packaging industry has been constantly thriving to for the continuing non-biodegradable plastic usage trend.
Currently, should I say, for the last couple of years, US companies were grappling to be spearhead the "untapped market" for wrappers you can munch in along with the chocolates. The Dumbledore of food technology, Harvard wizard Dr David Edwards, has now succored to WikiCells - an edible membrane made from a biodegradable polymer and food particles - that can imitate "bottles" found in nature, such as grape skins. Point to note is that, he came out with a concept of “Breathable chocolates” Le Whif! In edible packaging platform WikiFoods, Inc. introduces to another sustainable concept of wrapping or encapsulating the foods with an edible membrane called WikiPearls.
 Loliware, a US based startup organization has instigated the edible and biodegradable cups. Agar gel (sea weed) is the key base material for these cups. Loliware is also offering cups in different flavors and colors to add some excitement for the consumers. Currently the price of 4 cups is around $11.95. Loliware being an early bird in this technology, affordability and scaling up are the key challenges according to experts.
Keeping aside, the wow concepts described, the “food – experts” are worried of certain facts stipulated as follows
o   Physicochemical and microbial stability and barrier properties of these edible membranes of different foods.
o   Scalability and acceptability for primary packaging
o   Functionality of these starches during digestion
o   Efficiency of the material to perform at range of temperature during storage
o   Are governmental regulations ready to revise the policies
After reading all these, you must also remember that edible packaging materials are not a total unhackneyed ones for us:: the ice cream eaters ! Our ice cream cones - a century old concept?

In a similar context, these could be looked similar to those dish washer tablets, which  you drop in 'wrapped' and they dissolve in the machine? Except this time the machine is you and me ? Guess, its time for our digestive systems to take up the test and show its “digestive” power !