V4 BeyondPlastic – [PRODUCT] Edible Plates
Since we hate single use containers and our goal is to find alternatives to plastic, we set out to create edible plates and cutlery. It seems like people at festivals, beaches and events are not willing to change their habits of throwing away their plates and cups, so what if we can get them to eat it instead?
And if they don’t want to eat the whole thing, at least the materials that end up in nature are great food for animals or biodegrade.
A few facts about the properties of the bowl, before we start:
If it is pressed right, our bowl seems to hold water for at least an hour, before it starts to get soft and loses little bits of bran.
The material gets super hard with time, so it might be a good idea to make them on the spot. Plus it’s also nice, because while making it, it smells delicious!
And about food safety: Right now we are using an aluminium mould, and we haven’t really looked into food saftey regulations yet, but we will do this, as soon as we are working on a final machine.
Here’s how we do it so far:
– Mix 80% wheat bran with 20% water
For our bowl with 12cm diameter, 45mm hight and 1.5mm wall thickness, we need 60g of bran
– Heat Mould to 115°C.
A lower temperature is also possible, but might result in longer pressing times and a less sealed surface. You can find out more about our heatable mould here
– Load and press mixture with 7 metric tons for 2 Minutes.
A lot of pressure seems to help seal the mould shut, so that the steam can’t get out of the mould, which leads to a better surface. We are using this press right now, but are planning to develop a stand alone machine with an incorporated press in the future.
– Slowly release pressure, so that steam can get out slowly
If you release the pressure too fast, the evaporating water might blow holes into the material and the bowl appears broken or „exploded“
– Open the mould and take out the bowl
after a few minutes the bowl is completely hard
FURTHER INTERESTING EXPERIMENTATIONS
The wall thickness of the bowls seem to make a big difference for eating it later. Decreasing the it from 3mm to 1.5mm didn’t do any harm to the stability of the bowl, but changed a lot for the person eating it and the material used per bowl.
Spicing it up!
We already tried mixing spices into the bowls and tested them at dinner with the workspace team.Spices like Chili, Salt, Pepper, Rosemary or Cacao seemed to work well, while seeds like sesame or flax turned out to make the material less uniform and not connected in some areas.
great work waiting for further developments!!!!
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