As efforts continue to create sustainable, edible packaging, we are now presented with WikiPearl, one of the more recent packaging endeavors to use bio-mimicry, which can be defined as drawing from the designs of nature to solve the problems of humans.
Having already launched Aeroshot, a company that offers inhale-able coffee and chocolate, David Edwards, a bio-engineer at Harvard University, has partnered up with renowned designer François Azambourg and biologist Don Ingber to further develop WikiPearl, an idea he conceived whilst in a classroom at Harvard.
Inspired by the way biological cells, like those of grapes, transport water, WikiPearl offers foods packaged in edible wrapping that is made with natural ingredients, like chocolate and orange particles. These particles are mixed by binding carbohydrates. The resulting skins or vessels are called WikiCells, a term coined by Edwards.
Two years since WikiPearl’s inception, the team launched the start-up WikiFoods. Backed by Venture capital firms Polaris Partners and Flagship Ventures, WikiFoods, Inc. is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Paris, France. Edwards is also the creator of an international creative movement called ArtScience Labs.
Examples of foods offered are ice cream spheres wrapped in edible skins with flavors like coconut and hazelnut. Eventually, Edwards hopes to create vessels for coffee and cocktails, among other drinks and foods.
The public can taste some of these bio-innovative treats at Wiki Bar, which recently opened in Paris. In this contemporary setting, patrons are offered a selection of WikiPearl ice cream, juice, yogurt, and other desserts. All enveloped in natural, edible wrapping that may possibly be more decadent than the contents it protects. There you can also purchase foods to take home.
WikiPearl ice cream can come in packs of 1 to 3 servings, costing up to 6 euros for a pack of 3. Currently, there are three varieties:
- Coconut skin with a mango ice cream center
- Hazelnut skin with a chocolate ice cream center
- Peanut skin with a vanilla ice cream center
The bite-sized servings and their edible skins are sold in a biodegradable package.
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