ISRAEL – Naama Nicotra, a designer based in Israel, has developed a range of dissolvable food packaging from agar, the essential ingredient produced from algae.
The food wrap range, called NakedPak, explores the idea of going back to natural and sustainable solutions which were used in the past but, more recently, have been replaced by plastic and paper packaging.
The NakedPak formula uses algae as the main ingredient to form bioplastic packaging. The resulting material is transparent, tasteless, and can be manufactured as a two-dimensional sheet or as a three-dimensional structure.
Spices and sauces can be incorporated into the natural material, thus producing flavored packaging that dissolves in boiling water.
The designer also challenges the subject of hygiene with the so-called ‘Apple Principle’. This principle requires the food to be rinsed before being eaten, just like an apple, which has been exposed to dirt and carried in a bag.
“Most fruits, vegetables, nuts, and pastries are sold like apples, rinsed, or wiped before consumption. So, NakedPack is a behavioral change that offers a new sustainable direction to solve food packaging waste,” says Nicotra.
Currently, the material offers applications for five dishes, but the bioplastic packaging can be adapted for many different meals, she adds.
Each dish contains all the spices and flavors needed for preparation. Starting with the soup, it is made of vegetable stock and contains dry-frozen vegetables that are flat-pressed to form a light circular sheet.
NakedPak integrates sustainable processes which, says Nicotra, are gaining fans more and more all over the world.
It illustrates the importance of challenging our consumption behavior which affects the climate.
“NakedPak is a solution for the near future, a vision, a dream of what is possible,” she claims.
The innovation comes at a time when major stores and food companies are working on plans to reduce plastic packaging in response to climate campaigns.
For instance, Wikifoods has developed a fruit-like casing that surrounds the food and can be broken open like the skin of a fruit.
The company also paired up with Stonyfield Yogurt to make yogurt-filled “balls” that replace the typical plastic yogurt containers.
These balls are made from fruit-filled skins that resemble a grape skin or apple and contains either yogurt or ice cream.
By creating edible packaging, Wikifoods and other companies and researchers are eliminating the typical waste cycle since most edible packaging can be eaten or composted.
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