The packaging world is in a constant struggle to find new and more eco-friendly ways to pack food products. Reducing packaging waste has become the number one goal of many academics and packaging designers around the world. One of the most ingenious inventions of late in that area is WikiPearl, a meatball sized lozenge that consists of a soft edible core and a harder shell – also edible, much like the skin of a grape.
Edible packaging inspired by grapes
Looking for innovative solutions that help solve the waste problem, Harvard professor David Edwards turned to grapes for inspiration. Much like the skin of the fruit that acts like a container, Edwards wanted to create a packaging solution allowing the customer to eat the shell without spoiling the taste of the food itself.
From WikiCell to WikiPearl
The result of his observations first led to the development of WikiCells with his colleague Francois Azambourg, back in 2009, and now gives rise to the WikiPearl. It consists of an edible coating, protecting the bite sized pearl against water loss and contaminant entry, and a delicious core, ranging from ice cream, cheese, and frozen yogurt to fruits, vegetables, water, cocktails and soups.
Edible food packaging is handy and practical
Apart from environmental benefits, WikiPearls also excel in handiness and practicality, allowing typically smudgy snacks, such as frozen yogurt and ice cream, to fit in a school lunch box, or even taken to the beach. So far WikiPearl technology has won the grand innovation prize of the jury at SIAL 2012, was cited among the 32 innovations that will change tomorrow by New York Times Magazine, and the 10 innovations that will change our lives by Le Figaro Magazine.)