The Potential of Dissolvable Cranberry Film

Since 2008, Yanyun Zhao—a professor of food science at Oregon State University—has been researching the potential of the humble cranberry. Even when juiced, the crushed berry maintains a fibrous substance that Zhao turned into a film that’s “edible, no-waste, anti-microbial and water-soluble,” and could replace plastic in many cases. “When you’re making this film,” Zhao says, “You need stretch, you need elasticity, you need a lot of functionalities. So, we incorporate other functional food, like other carbohydrates, a little bit of glycerin.” The film could be used in place of traditional packaging materials, especially for more delicate foods—including fruits and vegetables—as well as replacing items like cupcake holders, or even to encase liquids. While it’s still a little expensive to produce, Zhao says, “The future is very bright for me, because there’s more consumer education, which is important.” Read more at Modern Farmer.

Image courtesy of Ben Davis, OSU/Modern Farmer