A designer has created an edible water bottle, with the potential to put an end to the waste created by the billions of plastic containers thrown away each year.
The jelly-fish like, tasteless, Ooho water battle has been years in the making, and harnesses a technique called sphereification, which is used to create bubble-tea pearls, and fake caviar.
To make the bottle, students at the Imperial College London gave a frozen ball of water a gelatinous layer by dipping it into a calcium chloride solution.
They then soaked the ball in another solution made from brown algae extract to encapsulate the ice in a second membrane, and reinforce the structure.
The team created thousands of prototypes before in an attempt to slowly perfect the prototype.
However, Ooho still has teething problems, as the membrane is only as thick as a fruit skin, and therefore makes transporting the object more difficult than a regular bottle of water.
“This is a problem we're trying to address with a double container,” Rodrigo García González, who created Ooho with fellow students Pierre Paslier and Guillaume Couche, explained to the Smithsonian. “The idea is that we can pack several individual edible Oohos into a bigger Ooho container [to make] a thicker and more resistant membrane.”
Other challenges include devising a way to make the bottle re-sealable, and keeping the skin while keeping the skin sanitary on the go.
“There's still a lot things with the engineering of the membrane that we need to improve,” González said.