Cling film is really really bad at its job.
It doesn’t really stop food from going off, it’s terrible for the environment and it’s a complete nightmare to use.
Well scientists have solved two of those problems and created something incredible.
Edible cling film.
Developed by the scientists and researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture the futuristic food wrap is made from milk proteins.
This has two very significant advantages. The first is that the protein-based films are extremely good at blocking oxygen, thus reducing the chance of your food getting spoilt.
“The protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage, when used in packaging, they could prevent food waste during distribution along the food chain.”explains research leader Dr Peggy Tomasula
The second is that yes, it’s entirely edible which means that not only will you be able to eat your packed lunch safe in the knowledge the packaging isn’t harming the environment, you’ll also be able to eat the packaging too.
Of course you don’t have to eat the packaging, but researchers are reportedly already looking into the possibilities of creating flavourings as well as adding other substances like vitamins.
Interestingly, one area where the team are focusing their efforts on is cheese.
“We are currently testing applications such as single-serve, edible food wrappers. For instance, individually wrapped cheese sticks use a large proportion of plastic—we would like to fix that.” says Laetitia Bonnaillie, Ph.D., co-leader of the study.
There are already some forms of edible packaging available, however they’re made from starch which allows oxygen to seep through.
The researchers are hoping to bring edible cling film to a supermarket shelf near you within just three years.