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Since more and more people learning about sustainability it has now become vital for businesses to take radical steps and initiatives to reduce the dependence on non-eco-friendly packaging options. Traditional packaging methods are not only hostile to the environment but they are also very hazardous for your profits as customers now expect their brands to switch to sustainable packaging options. Edible packaging has gained popularity over the years due to its ability to biodegrade efficiently just like food. As the name suggests edible means that yes this packaging can be eaten. This packaging is specially fabricated in a way that it can be eaten by the consumer or it can be composed effectively just like the food it contains which makes it one of the most popular Packaging materials for food. Different companies offer a variety of edible food packaging that businesses use as per their needs. For example in the replacement of ice cream cones now sugar based waffle funnel is widely used in businesses. Rice papers are used to cover the candies rather than the old traditional plastic wrappers. Many coffee businesses use cups made of hard biscuits that are also heat and leak-resistant. The consumers can either eat the cups or throw them away in the environment and they will decompose in the environment in no time. Seaweed packaging and caramelized sugar are some of the major examples used in packaging. Many other inventions of edible packaging are still under development and soon they will hit the market to revolutionize the packaging industry.
Edible food packaging: Eat your food and wrappers too
Edible packaging is made from plastic materials that are naturally biodegradable and can be eaten. This type of packaging has got so much traction over the years due to its ability to reduce our dependence on plastic and harmful packaging waste. The food industry was one of the major culprits that were causing major pollution in the environment. Since edible packaging is made of bio-materials and plant-based products like seaweed and milk casein it can be consumed by the customers.
Now that we know this unique innovation in packaging, let’s explore some of the benefits of why this packaging is gaining popularity over other packaging styles.
Benefits of Edible Packaging
The first and foremost benefit of edible packaging is that it satisfies your customer.
Customer satisfaction is vital for businesses because without a satisfied customer you won’t be able to grab a good share in the market. Since consumers are now becoming eco-conscious, edible packaging is a good way to show your responsible nature towards the environment. Edible packaging minimizes the way cycle and does not require any recycling which makes it the best biodegradable packaging material that will never end up in landfills. Consumers love to buy from plants that place special heeds to make Mother Nature stable for future generations. When you show your loyalty towards the environment with your edible packaging it will build loyal customer care for your business that will give you an edge over your rivals.
The diverse purposes of edible packaging make it of great value. This packaging can be applied to a variety of purposes with food packaging and food saving. Which type of packaging is used for refrigeration and to dissolve completely after being exposed to heat? Edible packaging can be used to store suits and coffees and will dissolve when the product will be heated. Milk casein White protein can be used in place of sugar coatings to preserve the serials from becoming stale.
Disadvantages of Edible Food Packaging
Just like any other sustainable packaging method edible packaging also has its shortcomings. Edible packaging is more sensitive to temperature fluctuations; therefore, it needs special care during the shipping process which can be costly from a business point of view. Many edible packaging still need outer coverings to stay protected from contaminants.
Another disadvantage of using edible food packaging can be for people who suffer from food allergies. For example, milk casein will not be suitable for people who are lactose intolerant or suffer from milk allergies.
If you look from the customer’s side it might be a bit difficult for customers to trust packaging that they can eat. It will take time for them to shift to the packaging they can eat.
Since we know that edible packaging is water soluble which makes it difficult to stay in its position in humid weather.
Types of Edible Food Packaging
All the edible packaging is a new addition to sustainable packaging but it’s not that new that you haven’t seen it before. You might have enjoyed an ice cream cone treat with your friends and family. Well, the waffle cone of ice cream is edible packaging. Flavored gelatin Is being produced by different manufacturers such as Loriware to pack the sweet treats.
- Citrus pectin and fruit casings are also used as an effective alternative to plastic packaging. Let’s see some amazing edible packaging products;
- Spoons: Spoons made out of rice flour, sorghum, and wheat are used by bakeries to combat the pollution created by cutlery.
- Food film; Plant-based carbohydrates and proteins food films are used for packaging
- Drink pouches; Drink pouches are a famous product made by the skipping rocks lab that is created from seaweed.
- Eco-bags; Eco bags are made of natural resins and cassava root starch.
- Drinking straws: Edible straws are an effective way to reduce pollution created by disposal straws.
Edible Food Packaging Material
There are two types of edible packaging;
- films ( applied separately to food after formation)
- Coatings (directly applied to food)
- Proteins( gelatin, gluten)
- lipids (waxes, derivatives)
Are used to fabricate edible packaging types. These materials are usually biopolymers that are produced by living organisms. These contain large structures like proteins etc. Material of edible packagings like Polysaccharides and proteins is usually hypersensitive and creates crucial issues when coming in contact with moisture. Slight moisture can result in the deterioration of the food. Lipids on the other hand create a water barrier that protects the food.
Edible packaging has opened new avenues of eco-friendly packaging that saves landfills from getting polluted.