The way we consume food has dramatically changed during the last 30 years. Today it is almost impossible to imagine how an average person could survive without consuming products that are packaged into plastic.
The case for food containment is a strong one. This case relates to how do we get food products to people while keeping food in a format and state that is convenient for consumption.
Cannot we imagine a way of designing food packaging that:
- protects food until it is consumed?
- does not contain potentially harmful substances for the consumer?
- does not negatively impact the environment?
- it is affordable and can easily be integrated in our standard production process?
After carrying out research there exists today interesting initiatives addressing this challenge.
As of today there exists +168 k patents on packaging, the very first ones from late 40's.
A new increasingly strong trend on edible packaging has appeared over the last 10 years with very interesting options, such as the use of
Not surprisingly, edible packaging is strongly correlated to polymers and more specifically with bio-sourced, bio-inspired polymeric substances.
Most important properties under investigation: thermosetting & thermoplastic. This concerns how easily these bio-based materials can stand processing during their production phase and ecofriendly disintegration after use.
In short the challenge of getting food to people without using environmentally unfriendly materials (e.g. plastics) can be solved by using bio-sourced materials.
Further in-depth investigation into IP should be performed to highlight interesting use cases, technology options and business models that could be applied to introduce value-added solutions.