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Edible packaging: Here’s a wrap to go with your burger


Ever been so hungry you can’t unwrap your food quickly enough? You’ll be pleased to know the days of frantically ripping through cellophane may soon be a thing of past. Edible packaging is back on the agenda.

A Brazilian burger chain, Bob’s, launched a marketing campaign this week where it replaced plastic wrappers with one that hungry customers can chomp right through.

The attention given to ready-to-eat wrapping has been growing steadily as scientists try to reduce millions of tons of waste. Researchers at Harvard have created a biodegradable membrane dubbed “WikiCells” and Indiana-based company Monosol is developing water-soluble casings for food, similar to ones already used  for detergent.

One man in the UK who is working hard to make edible packaging a reality is Dr Kamal Badiani, who runs Pepceuticals. The Leicestershire firm is developing an invisible film that can be used to coat meat and poultry “a bit like a skin”.

“You just cook the meat as you would normally,” says Badiani, who has already created the prototype. “It’s completely tasteless.”

McDonald’s, however, seems unlikely to offer its support. According to a spokesperson, edible packaging “is not something we’ve ever looked into or are considering for the future”.