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Edible food packaging dissolves in water – developer

By Joe Whitworth , 20-Apr-2012
Last updated on 20-Apr-2012 at 10:30 GMT2012-04-20T10:30:29Z

MonoSol pouch containing oatmeal
MonoSol pouch containing oatmeal

A US company has developed a food packaging technology that dissolves when exposed to water and said it is ready for commercial roll-out as soon as individual customers’ needs are satisfied.  

MonoSol told FoodProductionDaily.com that their edible film pouches are engineered to disappear and release their contents when they are exposed to water.

The pouch, which dissolves faster in hot water by the plastic melting away, leaves no notable taste or odour when consumed and there is no leftover primary packaging.

The developer said it provides convenient product delivery with portion control, it is time-saving for consumers on the go and offered a one-hand delivery option with the ability to customise and mix flavours with sectioned components.

The technology could be used in oatmeal, cereals, instant teas/coffees, soups, gravies and sauces, hot chocolate, pre-portioned spice packs and dry ingredients, work out proteins and supplements (currently scooped out from bulk containers).

MonoSol hot chocolate pouch

Commercial adaptation

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.

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.”

Scearce added the edible films appeal to a number of brands and products as the film is formulated to hold most solids and low water liquids and gels.

He cited an example of placing a pouch containing cereals in a bowl and adding water.

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.”

Pouch protection

However, he added the pouch would require a secondary packaging.

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.  

“This secondary packaging will also serve to protect edible pouches from moisture during storage.

“We follow good manufacturing practice in terms of formulation and manufacture of this edible film to ensure safe consumption.”

The company said the pouch qualities included robust mechanical properties enabling real world usage, low oxygen transmission rate, transparency, film conversion using known converting technologies and the ability to be printed on.

Scearce added: “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 fertilizers, as well as use in hospitals.”

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