Edible food packaging technology dissolves in water
A company has developed a food packaging technology that dissolves when exposed to water.
US-based MonoSol said that their edible film pouches – that are engineered to disappear and release their contents when exposed to water – are ready for commercial roll-out as soon as individual customers’ needs are satisfied.
The pouch, which is designed to dissolve faster in hot water by melting the plastic away, leaves no notable taste or odour when consumed and there is no leftover primary packaging.
Matt Scearce, manager of media and communications at MonoSol, said the firm are currently fielding calls and meeting with several multinational companies but commercial availability will depend on adapting the technology for each application and customer.
He added: “We believe a market exists for dissolvable pouch packaging to address the macro trends in the food sector such as convenient delivery, portion control, replacing primary package – reducing waste and operational efficiencies for back of the kitchen operations”.
According to the developer, the product provides convenient delivery with portion control, it saves a lot of time for consumers on the go and offered a one-hand delivery option and as well as customising and mixing flowers with sectioned components.
Mr Scearce also said that the edible films seem quite appealing to many brands and products such as the film are created to hold most solids, low water liquids and gels.
He gave a example of placing a pouch full of cereals in a bowl and adding water.
He said: “Once the cereal has released from the pouch, other ingredients such as fruits or nuts can be added via additional pouches. The water in the cereal bowl will dissolve these additional pouches releasing the fruits and/or nuts”.
However, Mr Scearce mentioned that a secondary packaging would be required for the pouch.
“A suitable secondary packaging such as a stand-up pouch or an injection moulded tub will be required to prevent contamination of the edible pouches during transportation and storage prior to use,” he said.
“This secondary packaging will also serve to protect edible pouches from moisture during storage,” he added. “We follow good manufacturing practice in terms of formulation and manufacture of this edible film to ensure safe consumption”.
The company also said that the pouch included qualities such as robust mechanical properties to enable real world usage, low oxygen transmission rate, transparency, film conversion using known converting technologies and the ability to be printed on.
Mr Scearce continued: “MonoSol’s edible film has been engineered to be robust and is able to be converted using known converting technologies.
“MonoSol’s portfolio of non-edible water soluble films have been used for decades in various industries to deliver ingredients such as cleaners and detergents, agrochemicals and fertilisers, as well as use in hospitals”.
The technology can be used in oatmeal, cereals, instant teas/coffee, soups, gravies and sauces, hot chocolate, pre-portioned spice packs and dry ingredients, work out proteins and supplements (currently scooped out from bulk containers).