History and Background
Edible tableware includes cups, bowls, plates and platters. They are prepared using sugar paste which has been in use since at least the Elizabethan era. Edible tableware was considered as a sign of wealth. In 1562, Alexius Pedemontanus published a recipe for edible tableware and cutlery, such as knives, forks, spoons and chopsticks.
In November 2018, Russian scientists have developed special edible tableware. Scientists from the Samara Polytechnic University invented disposable edible tableware, replacing polymers and cellulose with fruit sauce. These cups and plates are not the second rates compared to plastic or paper analogues.
In February 2019, they officially created this ambitious invention. The creators express that the idea to make a consumable film from characteristic crude materials starts from making a new diet for astronauts. They start with the idea of creating a package to store and reheat food. Then, eat it together with food. It will be helpful for the individuals who work in Arctic conditions or on seaward oil stages. For those who like to go with a backpack on their back is useful.
One of the restaurants in Saint Petersburg starts this business recently. They sell hot soup together with the edible bowl to their customers. After finishing their soup, they can eat the bowl. The Chinese always say, “You seem to be terribly hungry that you ended up eating the plate!” Now, this phrase is compatible with this invention. This environmental-friendly invention successfully attracts many people to support them.
Besides Russia, other countries around the world have actually started this edible cutlery. In countries such as India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, they used banana leaves and almond to make bowls and plates. They believe these will help in weight loss, improve the digestive system and heart health.
Moreover, other countries in Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia have followed the same trend.
How to make edible tableware?
At the start, the edible films are not all-natural raw materials that contain artificial additives. However, this packaging does not have any harmful effect on the human body, but it is not fully digested.
In the meantime, the product produced in Samara is formulated entirely from natural ingredients and does not contain dyes or preservatives. Also, there is a low caloric value of the film from vegetable raw materials. Hence, it can be used as a dietary product. They first make fruit or vegetable puree for the production of edible film. Then form a mass with a softening agent. Next, leave the sheet to dry at a temperature not higher than 60 degrees.
Similar technology is used for edible tableware. The main difference being that the viscous mass is poured into a special shape and then dried.
Researchers are experimenting with raw materials from various fruits, berries and vegetables while creating recipes for food films. Apples, carrots, currants, chokeberries, plums, strawberries, green beans, pumpkins and blueberries. These flavours are tried out.
Due to their flavour and viscoplastic properties, apples are ideal for making tableware better than others. It turns out that an apple cup is so hard that you can pour boiling water into it.
Similar to edible packaging, edible tableware can help solve the waste disposal issue. After using it, you can eat your cup or throw it away. It dissolves completely in twelve hours if put in water. For comparison, polyethylene bags decompose for several hundred years.
The cost of edible tableware is quite expensive. The authors keep on reduce production costs at the same time automate the mass production. This invention is really environmentally friendly while reducing the ‘garbage’ on earth.
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Prepared by: Jun Nam