Edible Kombucha Packaging
Polish design student Roza Janusz has designed a new form of edible bio-packaging made from kombucha that can easily be produced by farmers to wrap their produce, allowing them to bring their products to market with zero waste.
The designer claims that the concept could turn packaging production into an enriching benefit for the environment, rather than damaging it.
Scoby (meaning the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is produced by adding sugars and other organic substances to kombucha, which is then left to ferment and develop a membrane skin on the top. This is removed after two weeks and forms the thin packaging sheets.
The resulting new material is vegetarian-friendly and completely biodegradable and has a long shelf-life thanks to its low PH. It has a light kombucha flavour on its own, but takes on the flavour of its contents when heated.
Janusz has suggested that the material can be used to package a variety of foods, including fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, herbs, seeds and even instant meals.
For an in-depth dive into sustainable packaging innovations and solutions, see Packaging Futures 2017/18: Sustainability; Evoware: Packaging You Can Eat; Edible Banana Peel. See also Outside In: Living Materials for similar design solutions and material alternatives using living matter.
Laboratory-grown materials and solutions to our depleting material sources is an important theme in our Materials Focus S/S 20 story Augmented Space.