Nature wraps fruits and vegetables beautifully for us to eat. Learning from the same principle, a team of researchers in France led by Dr David Edwards have created a packaging they call Wiki Cells. On principle, the packaging provides an outer protective, edible layer to food similar to what you might find in fruits and vegetables.
While this packaging could be used for fruits and vegetables as well, Dr Edwards, a professor from Harvard sees the potential in the membrane for processed and packaged food as well. The membrane, with its capability to blend in with the flavor of the item it holds, can be used for packaging products like yoghurt, ice cream, juices, water bottles and basically, a myriad of products.
Being edible, the consumer might have a choice to eat the membrane along with the food, or discard it like the usual packaging. The obvious benefit here would be that this packaging is easily biodegradable and would momentously help reduce the plastic waste we generate. The packaging is an edible plastic basically made from algae and calcium. Flavors can be added to this mix to make the packaging taste better and in-line with the edibles it holds.
Dr Edwards is in talks with a number of corporations to bring the membrane to the market. It may be employed massively, but the first product to come in the packaging will be Wiki Ice Cream, which will come out towards the end of this summer, holding the ice cream treat in a cookie dough flavored membrane.