Edible Water “Blobs” Invented to Reduce Pollution from Plastic Water Bottles

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In the future, rehydrating on the go might not mean chugging from a bottle, but rather inhaling a gelatinous, edible blob that looks like water floating on the space station.

That is the odd vision of the people at London’s Jumping Rocks Laboratory, anyway. They have formulated a method for home cooks to whip up servings of water encased in algae-based gel. Folks consume the squishy balls by biting them and sucking the liquid out or, if they have excellent gag reflexes, swallowing them whole like oysters. (Better have a friend who knows the Heimlich maneuver present.)

The globs have a pressing and honorable purpose: to battle the worldwide outbreak of plastic pollution… though they may raise some eyebrows.

Preparing these objects at home also has an environmental benefit as it does not produce the fossil fuel and CO2 emissions of the plastic bottle production process.

When we drink bottled water we typically throw away the plastic, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% of those bottles aren’t being recycled! The process in making these uses a culinary technique called ‘sphereification,’ the water is encapsulated in a double gelatinous membrane. The technique consists of applying sodium alginate (E401) from brown algae and calcium chloride (E509) in specific proportions to generate a gelification on the exterior of the liquid. The final product is easy to make, inexpensive (about $0.02/unit), hygienic, biodegradable and even edible.


SOURCE:

Metcalfe, John. “This Futuristic Water Bottle Is an Edible, Gelatinous Blob.” N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2015. http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/03/this-futuristic-water-bottle-is-an-edible-gelatinous-blob/388087/

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24 COMMENTS

  1. I want in on this. I would like to be a distributer where I live. I’m interested in knowing what it does in the body, the algea and the calcium chloride.

    Very intrigued. Let me know.

  2. Or you can just refill your reusable water bottle from the tap. I keep enough on hand to last a week, then wash them all and start over the next week.

    • The reason this is amazing most is because its the healthiest way to consume water, if u drink tap ur also consuming floride which hurts your memory, also bottled water has thousands of chemicals from the plastic, so either way all water is contiminated until now that they have this, its seems the most safest way to transport clean drinking water

  3. Neverlastingrose did you just make it a point to get online today to be a jackass? That’s what’s wrong with this world today, it’s people like you that have nothing better to do then be a ass to people.

    • the comment he was replying to was already a bit hostile based on it’s name and the comment for basically saying this research was wasted. just cuz he amped it up and added a dash of sarcasm isnt any reason to jump on the dude.

    • Yeah, that’s what’s really wrong with the world. People being an “asshole” on the internet. I swear, some of you people live on the damn internet. Turn off your phone/computer, take a real look at the world, then come back and explain what’s really wrong with this fucked up planet, because there’s a whooooole lotta shit out there that needs our attention.
      I also want an apology because you made me take this time to write this to you for your ignorance.

  4. But wouldn’t you have to store them in something “on the go”? I can’t imagine these would do well floating around in a tote bag … at which point you’re still putting water in plastic …

    • This. Unbelievable that people would research something as pointless as this without using their brains for a few seconds and realising that it would still have to be stored in something, probably plastic.

      • Maybe in a bag, maybe in some kind of container, the important part is that it isn’t disposable. Yeah they might make a plastic container to carry multiple of these, but it still wouldn’t be nearly as much trashed plastic. The real important question is why people like you can’t do anything but complain, and then when someone comes up with a solution to your complaint, you just find a way to complain about that. How about you stop being a dick and instead actually support the solutions, or at least come up with your own since you’re so smart.

        Seriously, what they hell is wrong with you that your first thought is, “Oh, they’ll still be using plastic so this is a failure!” How about the fact that they might cut down several hundred tons of plastic trash, as the containers would probably be much more reusable. Or you could just put them in a bag and not worry about plastic at all.

  5. I support these,because not only reduce the plastic pollution but it save some space (say in cupboard) for storing things

  6. VOSS manufactures both plastic and GLASS water bottles. I have been using the same five glass water bottles for the last three years. They go into the dishwasher with everything else. No waste, not pollution. The water tastes better and stays colder longer.

  7. Voss manufactures both plastic and GLASS water bottles. Same as Really? above, I wash and reuse the same five glass water bottles for the last three years. Water tastes better in glass and stays colder longer. GO GLASS! GO VOSS! GO VOSS GLASS WATER BOTTLES.

  8. So question if this is supposed to cut down on water bottles, where do you store these blobs while you are not eating or drinking them?

    • Maybe in a bag, maybe in some kind of container, the important part is that it isn’t disposable. Yeah they might make a plastic container to carry multiple of these, but it still wouldn’t be nearly as much trashed plastic. The real important question is why people like you can’t do anything but complain, and then when someone comes up with a solution to your complaint, you just find a way to complain about that. How about you stop being a dick and instead actually support the solutions, or at least come up with your own since you’re so smart.

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