It is said that great things come in small packages, and this is likely the greatest thing to ever come in the smallest package. This innovation has limitless potential to change the world, and its package is tiny… as tiny as a bouillon cube.
British recipe box company Gousto teamed up with Xampla, a mission-based commercial spinoff from the University of Cambridge. The goal: to trial an edible film specifically engineered for a bouillon cube packaging application to be included in the Indian Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup meal kit. Where the consumer would previously have taken a stock cube from a plastic or foil wrapper, they will now plop the whole cube- wrapping and all- into the soup. They have done it, and the meal kits launch in the UK this month!
“As a protein scientist, I’m more used to science labs and academic conferences than consumer launches,” said Marc Rodriguez Garcia, Xampla CTO. “This is result of 15 years of Cambridge-based research into the fundamental understanding of how proteins can be shaped into useful materials, such as transparent and flexible films.” This single-use plastic alternative is made from pea protein. This film has the potential to go far beyond bouillon cubes to applications across the food and drink industry. It means brands can give customers the benefits of plastic without harming the environment!
855 billion plastic packets are thrown away each year, and most cannot be economically recycled, therefore, they end up in landfills or polluting the earth and seas. Imagine if this pea protein film could replace ketchup and mustard packets. The packet could be edible alongside its contents, or otherwise composted in a food waste bin. Beyond packets, imagine if we could package entire meals in edible, dissolvable film so they could be delivered anywhere without worry of packaging waste. You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one… I’d love to see more brand owners who dream big investing in developments like this!
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