Design Chain: Packaging - and how to eat the profits

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Packaging companies are keen to reduce their carbon footprint by using plastics sourced from renewable resources. Many of these polymers are biodegradable, so can be composted after use.

But a more direct route is to make the package edible, so that even the composting step can be removed.

These skins are used to enclose a variety of foods, including ice cream, yoghurt, cheese, soup and juice.

For example, it has developed a spinach membrane to hold pumpkin soup, a lemon membrane for lemon juice, and melted chocolate in a cherry membrane

The company is gearing up for a commercial launch by the end of next year, thanks to a recent $10m (£6.2m) investment from two venture capital firms.

“WikiCell Designs was created to turn food and beverage packaging from plastic toward all-natural forms – protecting products much as nature does,” said Edwards. “This approach has the potential to fundamentally change the way food is packaged and consumed.”

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