Naama Nicotra, a designer based in Israel, has used natural edible materials with agar, the essential ingredient produced from algae, to create a range of dissolvable food packaging.
The food wrap range, called NakedPak, explores the idea of going back to natural and sustainable solutions which were used in the past but, more recently, have been replaced by plastic and paper packaging.
The NakedPak formula uses algae as the main ingredient to form bioplastic packaging. The resulting material is transparent, tasteless, and can be manufactured as a two-dimensional sheet or as a three-dimensional structure. Spices and sauces can be incorporated into the natural material, thus producing flavoured packaging that dissolves in boiling water.
The designer also challenges the subject of hygiene with the so-called ‘Apple Principle’. This principle requires the food to be rinsed before being eaten, just like an apple, which has been exposed to dirt and carried in a bag. Most fruits, vegetables, nuts, and pastries are sold like apples, rinsed, or wiped before consumption. So, NakedPack is a behavioral change that offers a new sustainable direction to solve food packaging waste, says Nicotra.
Currently the material offers applications for five dishes, but the bioplastic packaging can be adapted for many different meals, she says. Each dish contains all the spices and flavours needed for preparation. Starting with the soup, it is made of vegetable stock and contains dry-frozen vegetables that are flat-pressed to form a light circular sheet.
Once rinsed and boiled, the vegetables return to their natural state. The spaghetti option is wrapped with tomato sauce, which produces a gradient that reveals its contents. Just like the soup, the spaghetti has to be rinsed in the sink and cooked according to the ‘one-pan pasta’ method.
The third meal is a curry dish, where the wrapper is made of Thai vegetable curry and contains a serving of white rice. Once dissolved the curry wrapper cooks with the tasty rice. The fourth dish is a vegan lasagna that contains sheets of ‘Beyond Meat’, vegan cheese, tomato sauce, and flat lasagna.
After being rinsed, the lasagna is placed in a pan, covered in water, and placed in the oven. For dessert, vanilla ice cream is wrapped in a layer of raspberry sauce to form a ball reminiscent of fruit. Just like an apple, the ice cream is rinsed and ready to be consumed.
NakedPak integrates sustainable processes which, says Nicotra, are gaining fans more and more all over the world. It illustrates the importance of challenging our consumption behavior which affects the climate. ‘NakedPak is a solution for the near future, a vision, a dream of what is possible,’ she claims. Images courtesy of Naama Nicotra
This article was created in collaboration with AIPIA (the Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association). Packaging Europe and AIPIA are joining forces to bring news and commentary about the active and intelligent packaging landscape to a larger audience. To learn more about this partnership, click here.