By Allied Market Research
With people becoming more and more environment conscious, the food and beverage products manufacturers are now seen to adopt a number of changes and make a mark over the environment as well as the end users. Traditional packaging is hostile to the environment not only in terms of decomposing, but also in terms of manufacturing requirements and that’s the reason why conventional methods of packaging are now being replaced by edible packaging to a significant extent. Made of biodegradable materials, composites in edible packaging are recyclable and decomposable in nature, thereby luring the consumers in more than one way.
Now, the question remains, what exactly edible food packaging is. It’s a kind of packaging that is specially fabricated to be eaten or has the properties to decompose effectively just like the food that it contains. Edible packaging comes in a number of different forms and is constantly being upgraded and amended for a better outcome.
Different companies have come up with different materials and tried a wide variety of edible food packaging. To cite an example, we can definitely mention about the sugar-based waffle funnel that’s widely used as ice cream cone. Likewise, a fast food chain has also endeavored to crop up a coffee cup that is creased with layers of chocolate and formed out of solid hard biscuits or saltines that are resistant to heat. This way, the coffee cup can easily be consumed once you are done with your coffee. Also, in case, the cup is disposed or thrown away, it will not take much time to decompose. At least; it would decompose faster than plastic or Styrofoam. Nowadays, gelatin type of packaging is also found in some edible cups made by Loliware. Vanilla and cherry are the two common flavors used in their making. Candy covers made from rice paper and starch-based cupcake wraps made from potato fibers are also worth mentioning in this regard.
Milk Proteins Used in Edible Packaging
This newer form of packaging is certainly better than plastic. Along with keeping the food fresh and crisp, it also makes sure the content is not exposed to oxygen. The fact that they bottle up starch in it makes it less permeable and more active in blocking oxygen. Casein almost looks identical to plastic and as it’s made out of milk, it doesn’t have a taste of its own; however, certain flavors can always be added later on. It depends on the consumer requirements though. To improve their durability, some manufacturers have also put on citrus pectin which makes it sturdier against higher moisture level and temperatures.
Also, there are a number of inventions that are still under development and have not hit the market yet. Seaweed packaging, browned and caramelized sugar casings, and beeswax vessels are worth stating in this respect. This kind of packaging is expected to lure the customers yet more, thereby serving an array of benefits simultaneously.
Advantages of Edible Food Packaging
Consumers have now become environmentally conscious like never before and with this drift on board, they certainly want to be aware of the waste that their purchases are accounting for. Here, edible food packaging quashes off the typical waste cycle and doesn’t entail any recycling. Edible packaging is meant to be biodegradable and thus, there is no chance that it would end up filling up recycling centers or landfills.
At the same time, when it comes to food saving, edible packaging again comes as a savior. This type of packaging is now being extensively used for refrigeration. As for example, instead of using sugar coatings to conserve foods like cereal – milk casein can be well utilized to daub the cereal to check it from becoming stale.
A Look into the Market
According to Allied Market Research, the global edible packaging market is expected to grow at a significant compound annual growth rate from 2017–2023. Increase in shelf life of food products and surge in demand for processed food products are the two major factors fueling the growth of the market. On the other hand, high costs and rise in regulatory dictums are expected to curb the growth to certain extent. Nevertheless, top-end advancement of technology has almost softened the restraining factors and paved the way for an array of opportunities in the industry.
The polymers used in such packaging are made of various materials such as surfactants, glycogens, amino acids, composites, and organic compounds. These constituents are not only considered safe for human consumption, but are also regarded harmless for environment.
To sum up, we can state that the market is breeding pretty fast and in the next few years to come, it’s going to boom yet more.