Could Edible Food Packaging Change the Way We Eat?


WikiCell's inventors are currently developing edible "shells" that protect food in a number of flavors. Photo: WikiCell

The environmentally savvy would do pretty much anything to prevent packaging waste from ending up in a landfill – but eating it?

If WikiCell inventor David Edwards has anything to do with that, you’ll be eating your food’s packaging in no time.

It sounds like a radical idea, but the Harvard professor insists it can be done. Using the soft skins that protect the insides of fruits, vegetables and nuts, Edwards grinds and binds these components that are “held together by healthy ions like calcium.” The skin mimics the tough, protective exteriors we find in citrus skins, coconuts and more. Inside the WikiCell skin, food like yogurt, ice cream, cheese and more can be packaged securely and, Edwards argues, deliciously.

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“Think about the skin of a grape and how it protects the grape itself,” the company says on its website. “This is how a WikiCell works. This soft skin may be comprised primarily of small particles of chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, or many other natural substances with delicious taste and often useful nutrients. Inside the skin may be liquid fruit juice, or thick pudding.”

Currently, the only commercially available WikiCell product is Wiki Ice Cream, available in France, but the makers are experimenting with new flavors that could package foods beyond dessert.

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